Qantas will slash a further 2500 jobs in an effort to save around $100 million a year.
The job cuts will result from a decision to outsource its ground handling operations. Qantas and Jetstar currently directly employ people in various ground operations roles at 11 large airports around the country and use specialist ground handlers at airports at 55 other airports they fly to across Australia.
“This is the greatest challenge the aviation industry has ever faced and airlines have to change how they operate to ensure they can survive long-term,” Qantas CEO Andrew David said in a statement.
“We know travel restrictions will lift eventually, but the market will be very different. Every airline will come through this much leaner and more efficient, and we have to be able to compete if we’re going to survive.
“Outsourcing this work to specialist ground handlers would save an estimated $100 million in operating costs each year.”
Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans said keeping the work inhouse would involve major investment in ground handling equipment over the next five years.
“We realise this decision will be extremely difficult news for our ground handling team and their families at what is already a very challenging time,” he said.
Qantas has seen its profits slump 91 per cent during “the most challenging period in its long history” with a statutory loss after tax of $1.97 billion in the last financial year.
“For those leaving in the coming months and weeks ahead, I want to thank you sincerely for your service,” Joyce said.
“It’s been heartbreaking for all of us. I’ve seen people I’ve known for 20 years leave the company in the last couple of weeks, people that have served the company for over 40 years, people that, for no fault of their position or the company’s position, have to leave this organisation.”