Qantas says it does not expect to resume international flying in any meaningful volume for another 12 months, and will sack 20 per cent of its workforce as part of a three-year plan to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief executive Alan Joyce said on Thursday morning the airline had no choice but to make 6000 of its 29,000 workers redundant as the global aviation industry faced a years-long recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
“We have to position ourselves for several years where revenue will be much lower,” Mr Joyce said. “Adapting to this new reality means some very painful decisions.”
A resumption of most international flights “will take a long time,” he explained. “There’ll be nothing this next financial year.”
Qantas expects international flying to recover to 50 per cent of its pre-pandemic volume in the 2022 financial year and to 75 per cent in 2023, Mr Joyce said.
Meanwhile domestic flying – currently sitting at around 15 per cent of its usual network – could recover to 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels within a year.
Qantas – like almost all airlines around the world – has been forced to ground most of its fleet, and now joins airlines including Air New Zealand, British Airways and Lufthansa in laying off a large number of workers.
Around 15,000 Qantas employees will remain stood down from duties until flying returns, the company said on Thursday.
The 6000 redundancies will include office