Qantas to cut 2000 workers as airline outsources grounds handling operations

Marco Green
Декабря 1, 2020

Qantas will outsource more than 2,000 ground staff roles in an effort to limit its financial losses.

The redundancies will be completed early next year and bring the number of workers Qantas has laid-off since the start of the COVID-19 crisis to around 8500, or close to a third of its pre-pandemic workforce.

"We have used these specialist ground handlers at many Australian airports for decades and they've proven they can deliver a safe and reliable service more efficiently than it's now done in-house".

In a statement Qantas said it notified the impacted workers this morning.

The bids were required to meet a range of objectives including reducing the overall cost of ground handling operations of about $100 million annually and better matching its ground handling services, and their cost, with fluctuating levels of demand.

"Unfortunately, Covid has turned aviation upside down", said Andrew David, the airline's domestic and worldwide chief executive. We thank every one of them for their professionalism and contribution over the years supporting our customers and operations.

It's high time to nationalise Qantas so we can revitalise the internal tourism industry and ensure the high quality workforce remains intact before its too late, as the fallout from COVID-19 will still likely devastate global air travel for at least 12 months or more.

Qantas said the Transport Workers Union submitted a bid on behalf of employees, while it received bids from teams of some individual airports. It didn't specify names.

Qantas had made three separate extension for the TWU, but Mr David said the union failed to "outline sufficient practical detail".

As required under its enterprise agreement, Qantas will now consult with its ground handling employees and their representatives on the next steps.

Jetstar has already transitioned its ground handling operations at six airports to external suppliers - a decision that was announced at the same time Qantas announced its review process. The company is projecting further significant losses in FY21 due to a drop of revenue in excess of $10 billion.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Qantas has taken on an additional $1.5 billion in debt in order to keep the business afloat.

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