In early October 2016, when a Hearing Committee was considering its recommendations to the NSW Parliament, Qantas Airways CEO Alan Joyce announced a partnership with the USD30 billion Airbnb. Those in the Australian Accommodation sector were furious. Not a peep was heard from Qantas Holidays.
Qantas Airways is an exemplar in an Industry that is first and foremost about self-regulation on matters of safety and performance. So how could Qantas enter into a hook-up with the privately owned Airbnb whose modus operandi is based on skirting around issues of legislation, transparency and community concerns?
Alan Joyce has been approached but has failed to respond to written requests for comment.
Airbnb meanwhile has been contacted through their spokespersons and asked amongst other things for details of any possible personal incentives offered to Qantas staff members and others. No reply.
A search of diaries and records shows which NSW Ministers have met with representatives of Airbnb and indicates that lobby firms Statecraft Pty Ltd and Richardson Coutts Pty Limited are ‘onboard’ in gaining approval at State Government level for the short-term letting of residential housing across NSW.
What hope then for individuals and communities, when Airbnb’s clear target is even greater levels of penetration into the heart of our home lives and the commercial takeover of our residential housing?
With 56 Airbnb reviews in a building zoned for “permanent residential accommodation only” how could a senior Qantas staffer get this wrong?