LONDON – Australian carrier Qantas (QF) has today confirmed plans to terminate 2,000 jobs from its workforce from 10 different airports due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The jobs will be affected at the following airports:
- Brisbane (BNE)
- Perth (PER)
- Adelaide (ADL)
- Melbourne (MEL)
- Sydney (SYD)
- Canberra (CBR)
- Townsville (TSV)
- Cairns (CNS)
- Darwin (DRW)
- Alice Springs (ASP)
It is understood that the retirements will be completed by the early parts of next year, bringing the total job cut to 8,500, which is around one-third of its workforce.
Another Tough Day for Qantas
Commenting on the news was Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David who commented on this tough situation for the airline. “This is another tough day for Qantas, especially for our ground handling workers and their families.”
The airline has saved around A$100m per year through the use of third-party ground management operations as well as another A$80m saved by not going through with major spending on aircraft hardware and equipment.
Around 2,500 jobs on top of this are looking to be outsourced by the carrier, which was announced in August. The process also began this month, with union opposition already taking place.
Such cuts are part of a A$15m restructuring process which will take place over the next three years, in order to help the airline recover from the pandemic. QF is expecting around A$10bn in losses next year, of which A$2bn has been accrued over the course of this year alone.
Cost-cutting features at the moment consist of the airline ferrying three of its Boeing 787s to Victorville, the halting of US and UK services until October 2021, and placing its flagship Project Sunrise on hold.
Qantas has been trying to find ways of making revenue during this volatile time, such as operating flights to nowhere in order to show off the beauty of Australia and beyond as well as operating repatriation flights from Europe.
Thinking Ahead to Recovery
Whilst this move has been welcomed by the majority of the industry up to now, it has had its push-back, especially from those who are refusing to vaccinate.
It will be interesting to see whether this will reduce the level of demand for services or whether there will be significant compliance, much like with masks onboard. Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair (FR) has already confirmed there will not be a requirement to have a vaccine to board its aircraft.
It remains clear that QF have a lot of work to do if it means ensuring survival of the airline going into the next 12 months. As the vaccine is distributed, the airline will no doubt see an uptick in demand as travel restrictions are loosened within Australia and beyond.
But for now, as usual with this pandemic, the tough measures have to be taken, and with that, will come a brighter future when recovery occurs.
Featured Image: Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner seen departing Brisbane Airport. Photo Credit: James Field.