On Tuesday, Qantas Airways Ltd stated, it plans on cutting up to 2,500 jobs and outsource its Australian ground handling operations as it braces for a $7.17 billion (A$10 billion) hit to its revenues caused by the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic.
The expected job cuts are on top of 6,000 job cuts that it had announced in June, which could potentially take its total job losses to nearly 30% of its pre-pandemic headcount.
In a statement, Qantas’ head of domestic operations Andrew David said, outsourcing the ground handling jobs would save an estimated A$100 million each year in operating costs and allow the airline to avoid investing A$100 million in equipment like tugs and bag loaders over the next five years.
Qantas has not named the companies to which it will outsource its ground handling operations. The major ground handlers in Australia include Swissport, dnata, and Menzies Aviation.
As part of a union agreement, Qantas said, it would offer its 2000 ground handlers the opportunity to work at its main brand; it will however not do the same for its Jetstar brand.
Most of Qantas’ ground handling employees have been furloughed for months; they are receiving government aid following a decline in travel demand.
The Transport Workers’ Union, which represents the ground handlers, did not respond immediately to requests for comments.