Business & Economy

Qantas to cut jobs despite signs of recovery from pandemic impact

Sydney, Australia, May 20 (EFE).- Australian flag carrier Qantas announced on Thursday that it will cut “several hundred” jobs in its international division, affected by border closures, despite the fact that the airline is showing signs of recovery after the coronavirus pandemic due to an increase in domestic demand.

In a statement, Qantas said that it expects “several hundred” of members of its international cabin crew to take up its offer of voluntary redundancy, without giving an exact figure, and added that 90 percent of “redundancies associated with the 8,500 job losses (already announced) are complete, with the remainder finalized” by the end of the fiscal year.

The airline also highlighted that the rebound of domestic travel demand and the performance of its Freight and Loyalty divisions are the main drivers of its recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have a long way still to go in this recovery, but it does feel like we’re slowly starting to turn the corner,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.

Qantas said it has a liquidity of AU$4 billion ($3.09 billion) while its net debt levels are beginning to decline after peaking at AU$6.4 billion in February.

In addition, the total revenue loss for the group, which includes low-cost subsidiary JetStar, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted the Australian government to order the closure of international borders in March 2020, will reach about AU$16 billion by the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year.

“However the role of domestic travel demand in the Group’s recovery is highlighted by the fact revenue from domestic flying is expected to almost double between the first and second half of this financial year,” the airline said.

Qantas has pushed the resumption of some of its international flights to the end of 2021 when the vaccination program in Australia is expected to be completed, although government forecasts indicate that the reopening of the borders will not occur until the middle of next year.

Meanwhile, another Australian carrier, Virgin Australia, on Thursday announced the creation of 250 new jobs, in addition to the 370 announced last month.

It also announced five new domestic routes and an increase in the frequency of its flights with 700 extra weekly flights across its domestic network by October. EFE


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