is to establish a base in London for 400 of its international flight attendants
from June 2005. The airline will also establish a base for another 250 international
flight attendants in Brisbane from early 2005.
Qantas currently has more than 4,000 international flight attendants in bases in
Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Auckland and Bangkok.
The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said today that existing
Australia-based crew would fill the positions at the Brisbane base and be given
priority for positions in London.
Mr Dixon also said there would be no job losses as a result of the decision to open
the new bases.
"Regardless of the take-up by existing staff for positions in London, our current
growth means we are in a position to utilise all our current personnel and to grow
some," Mr Dixon said.
He said the establishment of the London base would save Qantas $18 million
annually through rostering efficiencies and reduced accommodation and allowance costs.
"These savings, and others we need to continue to push through the company,
are essential if Qantas is to continue to grow and prosper.
"As a global airline with very significant offshore operations we cannot continue
to source all our people and services in Australia alone.
"We must strive for an internationally competitive cost base against many
competitors who, through Government ownership and subsidies, do not operate
to the same economic disciplines as Qantas."
Mr Dixon said Qantas was proud that it sourced 94 per cent of all its employees in
Australia, a much higher percentage of 'home-grown' employment than its competitors.
"The more efficient we are the more we will be able to grow this Australian base,"
Mr Dixon said:
∑ the London base would be operated by a wholly owned UK subsidiary;
∑ the salary levels in London would be at levels that compare well with those
offered by other airlines with UK based crew; and
∑ at the conclusion of a two to three year contract in London, the flight attendants
would be able to return to their positions in Australia.
Mr Dixon said that while it was difficult to estimate, it was expected that
existing Australia-based flight attendants would fill the majority of the London jobs.
Qantas currently operates 21 one-stop services a week to London via Singapore
and Bangkok. This will increase by next year to 27 services a
three new services via Hong Kong.
Mr Dixon said Qantas believed the new Brisbane base would attract widespread
support from existing crew.
"Our international services to and from Brisbane will see considerable growth in
coming years," he said.
"Capacity is being increased to Hong Kong and New Zealand and non-stop
Brisbane-Los Angeles services started last week."