Business & Economy

Qantas asks executives to work as baggage handlers

Sydney, Australia, Aug 8 (EFE).- Australian airline Qantas has asked its managers to volunteer to support ground personnel, including scanning and loading and unloading luggage, due to staff shortage over Covid-19, the company confirmed Monday.

In an internal memo, the airline asked about a hundred managers to devote three to five days a week over the next three months as part of a contingency plan after more than 1,600 staff were laid off during the pandemic.

The only criteria Qantas requires its managers to fulfill in their new role is the ability to move suitcases and packages weighing up to 32 kilograms (70.5 pounds).

Qantas’ chief operating officer Colin Hughes informed the staff in an internal memo that those who volunteer to perform these roles would be trained and assigned to work at Sydney and Melbourne airports.

Hugues stressed that the airline is trying to manage the impact on its logistics and ground passenger services caused by the large number of flu and Covid-19 infections during the austral winter.

A Qantas spokesperson, in a statement Monday, confirmed the move and said it was a common initiative during periods of intense activity, with some 200 office heads involved in airport logistics since Easter in April.

Qantas had announced the dismissal of more than 1,600 ground workers, including baggage handlers, in November 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Australia had closed its borders in March 2020, and began to reopen progressively from November 2021.

The logistical problems of Qantas and its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar have led to a series of complaints from passengers over delays on domestic and international flights, long queues at airports and the loss of their bags in recent months. EFE


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