Australia’s flagship airline Qantas has announced wholesale changes that will see the loss of 1000 jobs as it cuts international routes, retires four Boeing 747s and delays the delivery of six Airbus A380 superjumbos by up to six years.
No new planes will be added to Qantas Airways' existing fleet as the company embarked on saving measures that will push back the scheduled deliveries of eight Airbus A380s to 2019 at the latest.
Of the 1000 jobs to go, 350 voluntary lay off packages have already been offered to long-haul cabin crew. Redundancies will also be placed in management, pilots and engineering.
Defending the job cut, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said this move is necessary to save a failing business.
“We don’t have the option of pretending that things will change if we stay the same.
“They won’t. To do nothing, or tinker around the edges, would only guarantee the end of Qantas international in our home Australian market.”
"Eighty-two of every 100 people flying out of Australia are now choosing to fly with an airline other than Qantas, not including Jetstar," Mr Joyce said.
The job cuts however inflamed tensions with unions, who were quick to condemn the strategy.
“Today’s announcement by Qantas of wholesale changes to the airlines international operation is a slap in the face to the loyal Qantas workers who have built the airline’s safety record and reputation. The Australian Services Union, the largest union representing Qantas employees, condemns the move." the ASU said.
ASU Assistant National Secretary Linda White said “ASU members will not be flat footed – we intend to fight this.
“We successfully lobbied in relation to the APA bid and we will do it again because Australians deserve better,” she said.
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