Qantas Axes 6,000 Jobs
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has crippled airline operations across the globe, Qantas announced major changes. 6,000 workers, including ground staff and crew members, have been laid off in response to to the pandemic. The restructuring cuts across Qantas and it’s budget arm, Jetstar.
CEO Alan Joyce made the announcement on Thursday morning. The redundancies will help the airline navigate a year long recovery plan.
“We have to position ourselves for several years where revenue will be much lower," said Joyce.
Qantas expects to recover 40 percent of its pre-COVID19 business in July. Joyce expressed optimism that half of their dismissed workers would be back by end of year.
According to Joyce, a 75% pre-pandemic recovery would have to wait until 2023. He disclosed that the company was negotiating with state and local Government to ease travel restrictions to keep more people working.
Most major airlines across the world have grounded their fleets. Qantas joins Lufthansa, Air New Zealand, British Airways and other airlines that have laid off most of their workers. Over 15,000 Qantas employees remain grounded until normalcy returns to flying.
The 6,000 redundancies cover 1,450 office and administrative roles, 1,500 ground operation roles, 1,050 cabin crew roles, 630 engineering-related roles, and 220 pilots. The reorganization of the company’s operations aims to save $15 billion within three years of expected suppressed demand.
The cost of Qantas’ re-organization will exceed $1 billion, including $600 million in other related payments. Nevertheless, Qantas is upbeat over their Project Sunrise, a fleet of new A350s from Airbus that will make non-stop flights connecting New York and London.