Qantas Plans to Cut 2,500 More Jobs as Cost of Crisis Mounts

Qantas Airways Ltd. plans to cut as many as 2,500 more jobs by offloading ground operations like baggage handling and aircraft cleaning as the cost of the coronavirus pandemic mounts.

The reductions follow previously announced plans to eliminate 6,000 jobs, or 20% of the workforce, the airline said in a statement Tuesday.

“Airlines have to change how they operate to ensure they can survive long term,” Andrew David, head of Qantas’s domestic business, said. “This is the unfortunate reality of what Covid-19 has done to our industry.”

The crisis has deepened in recent weeks in Australia, with Melbourne in lockdown as it fights an infection flareup and internal state borders set to stay closed for months. That’s left Qantas flying just 20% of its normal domestic schedule, its main profit engine.

Qantas this month reported an annual loss of A$1.96 billion ($1.4 billion), its first loss in six years, and said international travel won’t resume until mid-2021.

The carrier and its low-cost business Jetstar directly employ ground crew at 11 large airports around Australia. Qantas also plans to outsource its bus services for customers and employees in and around Sydney Airport.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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