Sydney, Australia, Nov 30 (efe-epa).- Australian flag carrier Qantas announced on Monday that it will outsource personnel from the first quarter of 2021 to reduce costs due to the COVID-19 crisis, resulting in 2,000 workers losing their jobs.
The decision, which affects baggage handlers, ramp workers and cabin cleaners, aims to save the company some A$100 million ($74 million) annually, according to a statement from the airline.
“This is another tough day for Qantas, particularly for our ground handling teams and their families,” Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David said.
“Unfortunately, COVID has turned aviation upside down. Airlines around the world are having to make dramatic decisions in order to survive and the damage will take years to repair,” he added.
“While we have had some good news regarding domestic flights, international flights are not expected to return to pre-COVID levels until at least 2024. We have a massive job ahead of us to repay debt.”
The announcement of the ground services outsourcing brings job losses across the group to some 8,500 staff out of the 29,000-strong workforce it had before the pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, Australia closed its international borders in March, although the airline has continued to operate repatriation flights and domestic routes at 20 percent pre-COVID capacity.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said last week that they are studying current regulations to try to impose the need for a COVID-19 vaccination certificate as a condition for traveling internationally on their planes.
The airline recently announced losses of A$4 billion ($2.9 billion) in revenue in the first few months of the pandemic to June 30 alone.
Qantas has also received various financial injections and aid from the government in order to maintain the viability of the sector and operate key flights.
Qantas, an acronym for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services, was founded by Australian Flying Corps veterans Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness along with grazier Fergus McMaster in the remote outback town of Winton, Queensland, after the end of the WWI. EFE-EPA