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Qantas’ international services won’t return until mid-2021, the airline’s CEO has revealed.
The national carrier has axed a fifth of its workforce and grounded most of its international fleet in a desperate bid to survive the coronavirus pandemic.
A grim-faced Alan Joyce said on Thursday he does not expect the airline to resume international services in any significant way for another 12 months - July next year at the earliest.
The collapse of billions of dollars in revenue leaves us little choice if we are to save as many jobs as possible, long term,” Joyce said.
“We have to position ourselves for several years where revenues will be much lower and that means becoming a smaller airline in the short term.”
The International Air Transport Association says global air services won’t be back to normal for at least three years - and that’s without a second wave of cases.
Qantas will immediately shed 6,000 jobs, the largest single axing in its 100-year history.
Other drastic action includes grounding at least 100 aircraft for up to 12 months, including most of the international fleet.
Joyce says the airline will be focusing on local travel before looking abroad.
“We’re planning to be back to 40 per cent of our pre-crisis domestic flying during July and hopefully more in the months that follow,” Joyce said.
He said the opening of state borders was crucial to the plan and negotiations with state and territories were ongoing.
“This year was supposed to be one of celebration for Qantas. It’s our centenary. Clearly, it is not turning out as planned,” Joyce said.
The three-year plan aims to have 21,000 active employees by June 2022.
The Qantas Group currently has 29,000 staff.
SOURCE: 7 NEWS/PACNEWS
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