Qantas to cut 6000 jobs, raising $1.9b

Qantas will cut at least 6,000 jobs across all parts of the business and continue to stand down 15000 employees as part of its plan to recover from the impact of the COVID pandemic.

Australia’s flag carrier said it will ground at least 100 aircraft for up to 12 months and reduce $15 billion in costs over the next three years.

“We have to position ourselves for several years where revenue will be much lower. And that means becoming a smaller airline in the short term,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said. 

“Most airlines will have to restructure in order to survive, which also means they’ll come through this leaner and more competitive. For all these reasons, we have to take action now.” 

Qantas has been operating around domestic capacity at just five per cent of pre-coronavirus levels and is set to scale this up to 15 per cent following an easing in coronavirus-related social and travel restrictions.

It has cancelled all international flights, except for services to New Zealand, until late October.

The airline in March stood down two-thirds of its workforce. 

On Thursday, it said around 8,000 of the group’s 29,000 staff are expected to return to work by the end of July. 

This will likely increase to around 15,000 by the end of 2020 in line with the opening up of domestic flying, and increase further during calendar 2021 and 2022 as the international network returns to reach 21,000 active employees by June 2022.

Redundancies will be made to manage a surplus of around 6,000 roles, with the temporary surplus of around 15,000 managed through a mix of stand down, annual leave and leave without pay.

Stand-ups will increase as travel restrictions lift and flying returns, Qantas said. 

This will allow the group to preserve as many jobs as possible for the longer term and respond faster if recovery timelines improve. 

The company also announced it is raising $1.9 billion through a share sale.

This will comprise of a $1.4 billion institutional placement and another $500 million to be raised through a share purchase plan for retail investors.

Qantas shares have been placed in a trading halt ahead of the share sale.

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