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Qantas axing hundreds of jobs

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The number of redundancies has not been publicly disclosed by the airline.

“We recently confirmed that our group executive committee would reduce by one and there would be consolidation of some corporate roles where it made sense to do so, but the figures being quoted are wrong,” the Qantas spokesman said.

“To be clear about this, we are still growing in cabin crew, in pilots, in airport staff.

“In a business the size of Qantas, there is often change occurring.”

Total yet to be determined

It is understood Qantas’s human resources department is still working through the workforce changes and the exact number of employees who will be affected.

The airline has already announced its group executive for people and culture, Lesley Grant, is retiring at the end of the year after 17 years with the company.

Trade unions sources said they are not expecting the loss of so-called operational roles, such as airline maintenance staff, cabin crew and baggage handlers.

The job-cut preparations come after the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors in September named Mr Joyce as the country’s highest-paid chief executive.

ACSI in September showed he topped ASX-100 CEOs with $23.87 million in realised pay in the 2017-18 financial year, due to a combination of performance bonus rights reaching maturity.

Mr Joyce took the top spot after reaping the rewards of a large long-term incentive allocation granted to him in 2014, when the share price was just $1.26.

Qantas shares were trading above $7 on Tuesday.

For the most recent fiscal year, Mr Joyce’s pay fell to $9.9 million.

Mr Joyce previously raised the prospect of job losses in the airline’s September quarter results, saying Qantas would focus on cost reductions and improving efficiencies in the business.

Last week the topic resurfaced, with Qantas aiming aggressive cost-cutting initiatives at its domestic operations to lift operating margins.

At the time, the airline’s spokesman said this would not result in a significant job losses.

Virgin cutting jobs too

The topic of job losses is also gripping Qantas competitor Virgin Australia.

The airline’s chief executive Paul Scurrah – who took on the role in February to turn the habitual loss-maker into a profitable company – announced 750 corporate job cuts in August.

Mr Scurrah said the losses would save $75 million a year after he unveiled Virgin Australia’s $350 million loss for the 2019 financial year.

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