Australia’s Qantas Airways to shed further 2,400 jobs amid pandemic

Aug 26 , 2020. 18 hours ago – 16:18 KYODO NEWS

A Qantas commercial plane takes off at Sydney Airport in March 2019. (Getty/Kyodo)

SYDNEY – Qantas Airways Ltd. said Tuesday it plans to axe roughly 2,400 jobs by outsourcing its ground handling operations at airports across Australia.

The planned job losses at Australia’s flagship carrier come on top of the roughly 6,000 workers — roughly one-fifth of its total workforce — the airline said in June it would shed to accelerate its recovery from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The airline plans to outsource work including baggage handling operations at the airports, and bus services for customers and employees in and around Sydney airport.

Andrew David, head of Qantas’s domestic operations, said in a statement that the pandemic is the “greatest challenge the aviation industry has ever faced” with domestic capacity sitting at 20 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

“Outsourcing this work to specialist ground handlers would save an estimated $100 million in operating costs each year,” he said.

The announcement comes less than a week after the airline reported an AU$2.7 billion ($1.9 billion) statutory before-tax loss for the year ended June.