Out Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has responded to an adorable letter from a 10-year-old boy asking him for advice on starting an airline.

Qantas posted the handwritten letter on Twitter yesterday, in which Alex Jacquot, “CEO and Co-Founder of Oceania Express’, asks Joyce what the best use of his time is in planning out his airline.

After introducing himself, Jacquot mentioned he is 10 years old and adds, in brackets, “Please take me seriously.”

“I have already started some stuff like what types of plane I’ll need, flight numbers, catering and more,” Jacquot wrote.

“I’ve also hired a CFO, a Head of IT, a Head of Maintenance, a Head of On Board Services, and a Head of Legal.

Jacquot says because he’s been on school holidays he’s had plenty of time to work on Oceania Express, but isn’t quite sure where to look next.

“Seeing as you are the CEO of Qantas, I thought I’d ask you. Do you have any tips on starting an airline?”

Joyce took the opportunity to respond to Jacquot formally, saying he had “heard rumours of another entrant in the market”.

“First, I should say I’m not typically in the business of giving advice to my competitors,” Joyce wrote.

“But I’m going to make an exception on this occasion, because I too was once a young boy who was so curious about flight and all its possibilities.

“My number one tip for starting an airline is to put safety front and centre. And do everything you can to make travel as comfortable and affordable as possible for your passengers.”

Joyce then responded to Jacquot’s questions about Qantas’ plans to fly non-stop between east-coast Australia and the UK, and invites Jacquot to meet with him to discuss their shared project.

“At this meeting we can compare notes on what it’s like to run an airline. And I’d like to offer you a tour of our Operations Centre,” Joyce said.

“Thank you, again, for your letter. I’ll be in touch shortly about finding a time for our meeting.”

Joyce came out in 2012, and spent a significant amount of his tenure in the top job at Qantas lobbying for marriage equality, last year calling the Yes result announcement “one of the most emotional days of my life”.

Qantas also last year introduced new guidelines encouraging staff to use gender-neutral language when interacting with customers.

Further reading: ‘Qantas pilot Lisa Norman on being a role model for younger queer women

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