Qantas to establish new International Cabin Crew Bases

Travel News Asia 22 June 2004

Qantas 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," he said.

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 week, including 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."

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