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Significant Job Reductions at Qantas

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Friday, 18 July 2008

The Qantas Group is to cut 1,500 jobs worldwide in response to the sustained high oil prices and changing economic conditions. In addition to the job cuts, Qantas will not implement its budgeted growth in flying in the 2008/09 financial year and is cancelling plans to hire a further 1,200 people for that growth.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas Airways Limited, Mr Geoff Dixon said every effort would be made to achieve the job cuts through voluntary redundancy, early retirements, leave without pay, an accelerated leave program and converting positions from full-time to part time.

 "However, some compulsory redundancies will be necessary, which we regret," Mr Dixon said. "The jobs to be cut will be principally concentrated in non-operational areas, although operational positions will also go."

"Over 20% of our management and head office support jobs will be cut," he added. "The redundancy program will be completed by December."

As a result of this move, the Qantas group will:

- maintain a recruitment and executive pay freeze for the foreseeable future;
-reduce forecast capacity growth in 2008/09 from 8% to nil growth;
- retire up to 22 older aircraft from its fleet of 228 (including announcements previously made);
- close its long-running call centres in Tucson, Arizona and London at a cost of 99 jobs, and concentrate all its call centre activity in Australia and New Zealand;
- suspend Jetstar's recruitment program until the end of the year, including its recruitment of pilots under the 457 visa program; and
- close Jetstar's cabin crew and pilot base in Adelaide by the end of August, with Jetstar's 37 return weekly Adelaide flights to remain and be serviced by aircraft and staff based in Darwin and Sydney.

Qantas also plans to:

- proceed with its major fleet re-equipment program of new and more fuel efficient aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787; and

- proceed with its customer-focused product and service initiatives such as domestic Business class lounges, terminal facilities and opening the new Qantas Customer Service Centre of Excellence.

Mr Dixon said Qantas was very conscious of the important role it played in business and tourism throughout metropolitan and regional Australia.

 "This was uppermost in our mind when reviewing all aspects of our operations in recent weeks and, as a result, the latest schedule changes mostly involve a reduction of capacity on some routes and not the wholesale elimination of routes." he said.

"Also we need to keep developing new opportunities and we will, for example, proceed with opening up already announced new direct services between Sydney and Buenos Aires in November."

Recently Austrian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Continental Airlines, American Airlines and Air Canada have announced significant reductions to their international operations. British Airways is also expected to make an announcement about a similar move in coming weeks.

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