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  1. #1
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    Australia : Qantas cuts 5000 jobs, posts $252 million first half loss

    Qantas cuts 5000 jobs, posts $252 million first half loss
    Matt O'Sullivan
    with James Massola and Jens Meyer
    February 27, 2014

    Qantas will axe 5000 jobs, ditch unprofitable routes and retire ageing gas-guzzling planes in the biggest shake up of its operations since it was floated almost two decades ago.

    It is the biggest cull of Qantas' staff since chief executive Alan Joyce took the reins in 2008, and will reduce the airline's workforce to about 27,000 over the next three years.


    Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce described the cuts as "tough decisions" during a press conference this morning.
    Photo: Tamara Dean

    Before the latest retrenchments, Mr Joyce had announced almost 4200 job cuts during his tenure.

    The airline also reported a $252 million underlying loss in the first half amid a bitter fight with Virgin Australia in the domestic market, and intense competition on international routes. It is Qantas' biggest first-half loss since the Keating government began cutting it free from government ownership in 1995.

    The job cuts from Qantas's 33,000-strong workforce will be across the board. They include reducing management and back office staffing levels by about 1500. It will also wind back its aircraft maintenance operations and catering.

    Qantas will also ditch flying between Perth and Singapore later this year and retire six Boeing 747 jumbos. It has also deferred the delivery of the last eight A380 super jumbos it has on order, as well as the last three of 14 new 787 Dreamliners due for Jetstar.

    It will also shelve growth plans for Singaporean budget offshoot Jetstar Asia amid intense competition with other budget airlines in the region.
    Qantas shares fell sharply Thursday following the announcement.

    Mr Joyce said the airline ''must take actions that are unprecedented in scope and depth to strengthen the core'' of the business.

    ''We have already made tough decisions and nobody should doubt that there are more ahead,'' he said.

    ''To reach $2 billion in cost cuts over three years, we have to work our assets harder, become more productive, retire older aircraft, and make sure that our fleet and network are the right size. We must defer growth and cut back where we can, so that we can invest where we need to".

    The first question thrown at Mr Joyce during a press conference this morning was focused on his grip as CEO. Mr Joyce declared he was "absolutely committed" to Qantas.

    "Obviously the circumstances that Qantas faces today are very difficult. We have the capacity situation both domestically and internationally. But we have a plan to fix the problem."

    Unions savage cuts, pledge fight

    The Australian Services Union says Qantas decision to shed 5000 full time workers is short sighted.

    The ASU represents workers in airport check-in, head office, administration and finance, call centres, freight and engineering clerical workers and administrative, operations and technical staff.

    ASU Assistant National Secretary Linda White says the decision is devastating for all workers at the company.

    "It's outrageous that so many Qantas (and Jetstar) staff are going to bear the brunt of the poor business decisions made by Qantas in recent times," Ms White said.

    "Qantas have suggested they will seek to freeze wages until they achieve a full year underlying profit. This is an indefinite claim, and front line staff will have no influence over this outcome. It's punishing the workers for the poor business decisions made by Alan Joyce".

    Unions had been bracing for massive cuts at the airline for weeks, which they have been expecting to include engineers and pilots among the redundancies.

    Qantas has for years steered clear of making redundant its large workforce of pilots including about 2600 who fly long-haul aircraft preferring to allow them to take unpaid leave or seek time out to work for other airlines.

    The influential pilots' union has described the Qantas announcement as a "demolition job" which had failed to "follow through with a strategy for how it will grow the business".

    Australian and International Pilots Association president Nathan Safe said the Abbott government should be "twisting management's arm to be open and honest about where" the airline was heading.

    "Otherwise, it is like supporting a plan to bulldoze half a house before the blueprints to rebuild have been drawn," he said.

    Political blame game fires up

    Transport Minister Warren Truss has singled Qantas' high costs and wages as a key factor weighing the airline down and says the government will monitor markets' reaction to the airline's reported $252 million underlying loss before moving to respond.

    In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, Mr Truss said the Coalition was "not in the business of propping up businesses" but acknowledged the key strategic role Qantas plays in servicing cities across Australia.

    "The Qantas wage and cost structure places them at a significant disadvantage to the people they are flying alongside. Many of them are Asian carriers these days, they are Middle Eastern carriers where the wage structures are very much lower,'' he said.

    "Everyone has noticed the rise of Emirates and Etihad but we have to start watching the rise of China Southern and the major Chinese airlines. In my view, these major airlines in China will be dominating world aviation alongside Emirates and Etihad within literally three or four years. "Their cost structure is very, very much lower then Qantas' could ever be, so they will face continuing challenges in the international routes."

    Mr Truss dismissed calls by independent MP Nick Xenophon for an inquiry into the airline. Senator Xenophon said Qantas and its derivative business Jetstar had been badly run.

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Qantas' decision was the worst day for aviation in Australia since the collapse of Ansett and accused the government of inaction as the airline had signalled a need for support back in December.

    Mr Shorten said Labor would continue to support the airline being majority Australian-owned, as well keeping its head office and board Australian-based.

    He said it was time the federal government made clear whether it would offer a debt guarantee to the airline, rather than playing games and focusing on changes to the Sale Act.

    Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt said that the government should seek guarantees from Qantas management that jobs would not be sent offshore before moving to offer support to the airline.

    Profit, revenue falls

    Qantas declared a statutory loss of $235 million for the six months to December, compared with a $109 million profit in the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 4 per cent to $7.9 billion.

    Qantas' domestic operations reported a 74 per cent fall in pre-tax profit to $57 million, which was blamed on intense competition in the domestic market and growth in capacity.

    But it was overshadowed again by Qantas' international operations, which slumped to a $262 million loss compared with a $91 million loss previously.
    Qantas said its alliance with Emirates ''partially offset'' the impact of capacity on routes in and out of Australia increasing by 9 per cent.

    Jetstar also slumped to a $16 million loss from a $128 million profit previously, reflecting ''the impact of domestic competitive pressures'' as well as $29 million in start-up losses from its associate airlines in Asia. They include Jetstar branded airlines in Japan, Vietnam and Singapore. The airline has not given any earnings guidance for this financial year, nor has it paid a dividend.

    Qantas has also confirmed it has reached agreement to sell its long-term lease on its terminal at Brisbane Airport for $112 million. The lease was due to expire in 2018.

    Under the arrangements with the airport, Qantas will retain exclusive use and operational control over much of the northern end of the terminal until the end of 2018 while ''securing rights to key infrastructure beyond this period''.

    smh.com.au

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Qantas have been having problems for ages now.

    I have 100000 frequent flyer points with them earned on my Visa card. Have a free flight to either Europe or America.

    I reckon it wont be long before Qantas will scrap that program as their situation only gets worse.

    With all the budget airlines flying out and around Australia they cant really compete.

    By the way, never fly Jetstar as this is Qantas low cost arm. Their running it that leanly that they cancel flights on a frequent basis and roll all the passengers over to fill one plane.

    They have just done that to my friends on a flight from Bangkok back to Melbourne.

    24 hour delay mind you. Tossers.
    Stroller is a Yerman faggot.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57
    I reckon it wont be long before Qantas will scrap that program as their situation only gets worse.
    Already heralded changes, I'd use it quick if I were you. I canceled mine a couple of years ago, bloody hopeless.

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    Qantas will go the way of the dodo !!

  5. #5
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    Paying the price for decades of protection.
    You can have a national carrier, or a private company, not both.

    It used to be cheaper to fly garuda to bali, have a weekend in a resort and then on to Perth than it was Darwin - Perth direct on Qantas.


    Bad news for the Wobblies.....
    Last edited by Necron99; 27-02-2014 at 11:48 AM.

  6. #6
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    good old mis management strikes again

    trade in the MBA wankers for people who actually understand the intricacy of airline operations

    they are the national carrier for a country with a lot of tourism , so it must have taken exceptional skillz to have fcuked it up

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldrick
    good old mis management strikes again
    blame management, when the root cause is the unions.


    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly
    Originally Posted by terry57
    I reckon it wont be long before Qantas will scrap that program as their situation only gets worse.
    Already heralded changes, I'd use it quick if I were you. I canceled mine a couple of years ago, bloody hopeless.
    Apparently not.... so they say.

    Dear Kingwilly


    Today Qantas announced a range of measures to take $2 billion in costs out of the business over three years, including through deferring and selling aircraft, and significant job reductions.


    I have received many questions both directly and through social media and wanted to reach out to you personally as a valued member.


    These are tough but necessary measures to ensure a strong future for Qantas and our nearly 10 million Qantas Frequent Flyer members.


    Let me assure you, however, that these measures will not impact your Qantas Points balance or cause your Qantas Points to expire.


    This year, Qantas has many plans to keep on rewarding Qantas Frequent Flyer members. Here are just a few I wanted to share with you:


    • We will continue to introduce more everyday ways to earn and redeem Qantas Points.


    • On 31 March 2014, we will launch our new business loyalty program, Aquire. Australian-based small and medium businesses could earn Aquire Points through their everyday transactions, including travel, and convert them into Qantas Points in the name of an individual Qantas Frequent Flyer member.


    • We will continue to introduce new features and benefits to Qantas Cash, with more than 200,000 members using the prepaid facility already.


    • We are opening new stylish Lounges. The Qantas Hong Kong Lounge will open in March 2014. The new Los Angeles Business Lounge will open in April 2014, with a new world class Qantas First Lounge to open in Los Angeles in the second half of 2014.


    • The upgrade of our Airbus A330 fleet is progressing well, with the aircraft featuring new Business fully flat beds and the latest Panasonic entertainment system to feature on our domestic and international network from late 2014.


    • We will be introducing new member communities, in addition to our food and wine community Qantas epiQure, which will provide opportunities for members to be engaged with the things we know you are passionate about.



    Qantas is changing, but what will never change is our commitment to rewarding you for your loyalty, whether on the ground, or in the air.


    Yours sincerely,

    Lesley Grant
    CEO Qantas Loyalty

  8. #8
    Lord of Swine
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    ^ I believe that courts have ruled points programs are protected from arbitrary devaluing or cancellation.

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    Air New Zealand Just posted a record half year profit of a $140 million.Go figure

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    Whatever way you look at it, management have not risen to the challenges, their salaries increase nonetheless while 5,000 people lose their jobs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    Whatever way you look at it, management have not risen to the challenges, their salaries increase nonetheless while 5,000 people lose their jobs...

    A fact that never gets looked at wherever you are in the world; look at the recent spat on London Underground over booking office closures to save money, yet what really wants trimming is the amount of managers most of whom do little actual work!

  12. #12
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    ^ To be fair he has cancelled the million dollar pay rise he gave himself last year.

    Mr Joyce's $3.3 million pay will be cut by at least 38 per cent this financial year because of the airline's poor performance - which would leave him with a $2 million pay packet.

    Qantas to cut 1000 jobs as CEO Alan Joyce takes pay cut | News.com.au

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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post
    which would leave him with a $2 million pay packet.
    Considering what the majority of people anywhere in the world are paid that's hardly a cut at all - as if he need $2million dollars, guzzling pig!

  14. #14
    Lord of Swine
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    A paltry amount compared to others managing similar sized enterprises..
    He was on 5 million in 2012.

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    ^ Then he's a bigger pig than I thought, the rest being even worse. Why would anybody need millions to live on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin View Post
    ^ Then he's a bigger pig than I thought, the rest being even worse. Why would anybody need millions to live on?

    The nature of a free market economy.
    Sandra Bullock made 70 million for the movie Gravity. Was her performance worth that much? Of course not. But that's the way it works....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post

    The nature of a free market economy.
    Sandra Bullock made 70 million for the movie Gravity. Was her performance worth that much? Of course not. But that's the way it works....

    Yes but there is a difference; people wanted to see the movie so she got rich, not so much wrong with that, Alan Joyce I would guess would be a political appointee feathering his nest along with those who gave him the choice.

  18. #18
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    this isn't the first aussie airline to have major probs.
    another <long established> went bust less than 10 yr. ago.
    forget the name.

  19. #19
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    Ansett.

  20. #20
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    Was it Alan Joyce who married some Thai bloke not long ago?...Paid millions in sinsot...Or was that another Qantas Koala?...

  21. #21
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    "As it happens, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce lives with his long-time male partner"

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