Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the cuts were due to a combination of factors, including the delay in international travel from October to December.
Mr. Joyce revealed since the start of the pandemic, it has lost more than $16bn in revenue, with losses from the previous and the current financial years sitting above $4.7bn.
Roughly 6000 workers remain stood down across the group, and the new redundancies are extra job losses on top of the already 8500 roles culled from the company. “I think it’s safe to say there’s no other company in Australia that’s had a bigger impact from COVID than the Qantas group,” he said. Aviation analyst Jordan Chong told the ABC that while domestic flights were helping, the worst was not over for the airline. “When you lose $16 billion in revenue, that suggests that it had a massive impact,” Mr. Chong told Kirsten Aiken.
“Clearly with international borders closed to everyone but the travel bubble with New Zealand, the domestic market isn’t going to replace all those international seats that Qantas was operating and selling before the coronavirus pandemic.” He said whether the cuts were enough to keep Qantas afloat was dependant on whether it can “restart some international flying to other places through government-approved travel bubbles or otherwise”.
Mr. Chong predicted it could take years to return to normal but was optimistic the airline would bounce back. “There is a need to connect again in person, the return to pre-COVID levels might take a few years, but if you look at the long-term trends, you can’t help but think that aviation and passenger travel will eventually return”.
Shadow minister for Infrastructure and Transport Cather King said the announcement by Qantas “shows how patchy the recovery remains. “Pleasing to see domestic growth but too few vaccinations and no long-term plan put international aviation jobs at risk,” she said.