From PerthNow via the Melbourne Sun Herald, 24th February 2014
EXCLUSIVE: QANTAS is gearing up to axe 5000 jobs and sell its terminal at MelbourneAirport to prove to the Abbott Government it can make the tough business decisions required to obtain federal assistance.
The airline may also take the razor to its budget offshoot Jetstar, slashing jobs and routes, as it lobbies the Government to provide it with a lifesaving debt guarantee.
Job cuts, previously forecast to be 2000, are now expected to be closer to 5000.
The Herald Sun has been told up to 1500 of those jobs could come from the executive and support divisions of the Qantas group.
A large number of jobs will be abolished by the end of March as the airline seeks immediate savings.
And at least 1000 of the 5000 jobs across the group will go in 12 months.
The national carrier will use Thursday’s announcement of half-yearly results to outline the ways is will slash $2 billion from its national budget over three years.
Final job numbers could change before Thursday.
A Qantas source said the numbers had moved “a bit every day’’ in recent weeks as decisions were finalised, but that the figure of 5000 had firmed up in recent days.
Qantas spokesman Andrew McGinnes declined to put a number on job losses.
“There is lots of speculation about what things we will or won’t announce on Thursday, but we’re not in a position to comment on that speculation,’’ he said.
“We have said that we will be making some tough decisions in order to achieve $2 billion in cost savings over the next three years, which is a consequence of an unprecedented set of market conditions now facing Qantas.”
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce has issued his group executives a reduction figure to hit. Source: Supplied
With the airline already forecasting a loss of $300 million, a radical overhaul of operations is being finalised, with the company determined to show real reform in order to secure the debt guarantee it has been seeking from Treasurer Joe Hockey.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has given each group executive a dollar figure in reductions to achieve.
The airline has been negotiating to sell the long-term lease it holds on its terminal at Melbourne Airport, which could raise up to $250 million.
Sources said the airline would not announce anything relating to the future of its Melbourne lease on Thursday, but negotiations are continuing.
The sell-off of the Brisbane lease, which could raise around $150 million, seems set to be announced this week.
Budget offshoot Jetstar now seems likely to face similar cuts, with staff and routes under threat.
Qantas sources seem confident the Government will grant a debt facility, in return charging them a premium if they were to access it.