Qantas planning redundancies in head office restructure
November 7, 2019

Jobs will be cut at Qantas in a head office restructure, the airline has confirmed.

Staff were reportedly told last week of the cuts, although it’s unclear how many will be made redundant.

It comes as human resources boss Lesley Grant is set to retire at the end of the year.

Her position will not be filled and staff below her will be absorbed into other offices.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce said that move would reduce “complexity” and improve efficiency in the business.

That announcement followed a first-quarter trading update, at which Mr Joyce flagged a “strong focus on cost reduction” given the “slower revenue environment”.

While there have been reports some 1200 jobs could be cut, a Qantas spokesman said that was not accurate.

“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 spokesman said.

“To be clear about this, we are still growing in cabin crew, in pilots, in airport staff. We have a new aircraft arriving next week.

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

Jobs are being cut at Qantas in a restructure. Picture: Rick Rycroft/APSource:AP

The cuts come after Mr Joyce topped the list of Australia’s highest paid CEOs, pocketing a staggering $23,876,351 last year, more than 270 times the national average.

Next year the airline will also make a multibillion-dollar order to replace its entire domestic fleet.

Last week it was forced to ground three Boeing 737 jets to repair cracks after a safety check.

The airline also rejected claims that cracks on a bolt in the “pickle fork” structure did not signal aircraft design problems.

It also said some flyers might be hit by changes to flight schedules.

Earlier this month, the US Federal Aviation Administration earlier ordered airlines to check any 737s that had completed more than 30,000 takeoffs and landings, known as cycles, for cracks.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce is Australia’s highest paid CEO. Picture: Bianca De Marchi/AAPSource:AAP

Qantas’s news also comes after Virgin Australia announced it was retiring five ageing aircraft and reducing routes by two per cent as it tries to return to profitability.

Virgin also said it would suspend its Melbourne to Hong Kong flight from February 11, which has underperformed with recent protests in the former British colony, and redirect the A330-200 aircraft on a new route between Brisbane to Tokyo.

Chief executive and managing director Paul Scurrah told shareholders at Virgin’s annual general meeting on Wednesday that the Tokyo flight was a “great opportunity”.

The airline will begin flying from Brisbane to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport from March 29.

The 2020 Olympics begin in Tokyo in July.

Virgin Australia announced it was retiring five ageing aircraft and reducing routes by two per cent as it tries to return to profitability. Picture: David Mariuz/AAPSource:AAP

Virgin Australia said also said it would resume its popular flight from Melbourne to Denpasar, Bali, from March 29, assuming it receives regulatory approval.

It will scrap flights from Canberra to Perth, the Gold Coast to Perth, and Sydney to Christchurch, while adding more flights between Auckland and Sydney.

Virgin said it would retire two A320s from its Tigerair Australia subsidiary and three Fokker 100s from its regional business.

“Flying to the right destinations, with the right customer demand, and the right sized fleet with improve our financial performance,” Mr Scurrah said.

There were many instances where Virgin Australia and Tigerair both have had aircraft operating on the right routes at the same time, he said.

The company is looking to refocus Tigerair flights on key holiday destinations, he said.

Virgin Australia is trying to reduce costs after an underlying loss of $71.2 million last financial year.

The airline is keeping its flight from Sydney to Hong Kong.

- with AAP