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Qantas Group Cuts 2,500 More Jobs

A Qantas 787-9 performs a test flight at Paine Field. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Zera)

In Australia, Qantas Airways and its low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar have announced plans to ax 2,500 jobs following the announcement of the carrier’s second-largest financial loss in a century. In June, the flag carrier has announced 6,000 of its workforce would be cut.

The struggling airline is proposing to outsource its bus services for customers and employees at Sydney Airport and its ground handling operations at 10 airports in the country. Meanwhile, Jetstar Airways has decided to outsource its ground handling at six airports across Australia. According to the budget carrier, the airline already outsources at 17 airports in the country. The redundancy program will impact a total of 2,500 jobs, both airlines said in a statement.

According to the airlines, “Further significant losses are expected in the next year and at least $10 billion ($7.1 billion USD) drop in revenue due to the pandemic.” Qantas defended its decision, “Outsourcing this work to specialist ground handlers would save an estimated 100 million Australian dollars [$71 million] in operating costs each year.”

Earlier, the Qantas has reported a statutory loss of 2.7 billion dollars for the last financial year, the nearing its worst financial result in a century.

According to the local media, Michael Kaine, the secretary of the Transport Workers Union, which represents many Qantas employees, has demanded CEO Alan Joyce to resign.

“Qantas has taken millions in Jobkeeper wage subsidies, more than any other company,” Kaine said, “with the express intent of keeping people employed.”

According to Qantas, the group has received $267 million Australian dollars in payments from the government’s Jobkeeper program, and the majority of the allowance was paid directly to employees on furlough and the rest used to subsidize wages of those still working.

In June, Qantas has announced a cost-cutting program resulting in the loss of 6,000 jobs, the immediate retirement of the Boeing 747 immediately and grounding up to 100 aircraft for up to 12 months. The deliveries of the new aircraft have been deferred, including A321neo and 787-9 fleet.

In addition, the flag carrier had announced the executives would receive reduced salaries. The Qantas Group Management Committee had no salaries for three months in the last quarter of the fiscal year 2020, which ran from April to June Afterwards, the CEO said he would take 65% of his salary, and other executives will receive 85 percent of salaries until November.

With no end in sight for the pandemic, Qantas has announced Tino La Spina, CEO of Qantas International, will leave the group as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Andrew David, CEO of Qantas Domestic, will take over the job of La Spina.

“It’s increasingly clear that our international flights will be grounded until at least mid-2021, and it will take years for activity to return to what it is before. Under those circumstances, we’ve made the decision to consolidate the domestic and international business united under a single divisional CEO,” Joyce said.

Pete Ainsley


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