Australia’s flag Carrier, Qantas is planning to layoff 6,000 people. It is also planning to slash down half of its 30,000 workers. The airline has to take these steps as the airline sector is at a halt due to the pandemic crisis.
Qantas, CEO Alan Joyce mentioned that as compared to its rival Virgin Australia, the airline was in a much better financial position previously. However, the company will be raising $1.9 billion in fresh capital to manage its expenses until travel resumes.
The CEO also said that the stand-down might extend. As there are no international flights and they won’t be starting before next July at the soonest. However, he wants the government to extend job keeper subsidies for the aviation sector. These subsidies will be expiring in September.
“We’re having good discussions with the government about possibly extending job keeper, or some other form of support, for those in the aviation industry who will be stood down for an extended period,” he said.
Grounding Airbus A380
For Three Years The airline will be sending its fleet of 12 long-haul Airbus A380s to the Mojave desert. The airline is grounding the aircraft for three years. The Airbus A380 has the capacity to carry more than 800 passengers.
Not Able To Pay Dividend
However, as the airlines are running short of cash it has canceled a $200 million dividend payment. The airline was supposed to make this payment to shareholders in September.
The national secretary of the Transport Workers Union, Michael Kaine, condemned this move and accused Joyce of being “quick to cut jobs and hang workers out to dry” and said the airline should have held off on sackings until after the federal government announced whether the job keeper program would be extended.
Kaine said both Qantas and the Morrison government are to blame for the job losses. As many times they rebuffed the TWC’s calls for a bailout of the entire aviation industry.
“Before Qantas slashed thousands of workers’ jobs and takes more of its planes down to the pawnshop. it should be lobbying the federal government for an extension to job keeper and financial support to allow the airline to weather the crisis,” he said.
“The Qantas CEO is very good at walking the halls of Canberra when it suits his agenda, yet he is quick to cut jobs and hang workers out to dry. We are demanding that he halt these redundancies until the federal government makes an announcement on job keeper.”
Instead of the job losses and financial carnage, Joyce stood by his controversial “Project Sunrise” plan to start ultra-long-haul flights of up to 21 hours to London and New York.
However, the capital that the airline has raised for the first time in a decade will help it to strengthen its balance sheet and help it to speed up the recovery.
The board of the airline supported Joyce. Moreover, they are extending his tenure to at least 2023. This means that he will stay in the top job for an unusually long 15 years.
Joyce was paid almost $24 million till last year. But he had agreed not to take payment until the end of this month. He also said this arrangement would continue into July.
The airline is cutting the pay of its senior executives by 15%. Moreover, there will be no bonuses for this year. However, the airline is still not sure when these pay cuts will return to normal.
A company spokesman said this would continue until the airline was “flying more”.