Thursday, February 16, 2012

Qantas axes 500 jobs and warns more to come as heavy maintenance operations are reviewed

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce today confirmed the the airline is sacking at least 500 workers and reviewing hundreds of maintenance positions after reporting a sharp fall in first-half profit.

The airline made $42 million in the six months to the end of December, down 83 per cent on the $241 million it made a year earlier.

I interviewed Alan Joyce shortly after the sackings were revealed in Sydney this morning.

Listen to it here.

Mr Joyce said the fall was due to industrial action, which led him to decide to ground the airline's entire fleet last year. Qantas says the bill for last year's action cost the airline $194 million.

He announced a five-year plan involving changes in engineering, maintenance and ground handling services to make the airline more globally competitive.

Earlier, there was speculation that as many as 1500 sackings would be announced.

However, Mr Joyce said there would be a 60 consultation period with staff and unions.

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