Almost all overseas flights will be cancelled until July next year, Qantas boss Alan Joyce has warned.
Mr Joyce announced the decision to slash 6,000 jobs on Thursday as the airline continues to struggle amid the coronavirus pandemic.
‘It’s clear that International travel is likely to be stalled for a long time,’ Mr Joyce said.
‘We are working on international operations not starting in any real size – we might get the Trans-Tasman before then, we may get other nations opening up with bubbles – but to real size from July of next year.’
He said that the proposed ‘travel bubble’ between Australia and New Zealand would be in operation in the next few months but that Qantas will operate a skeleton international service for at least a year.
Qantas announced it would slash an unprecedented 20 per cent of its workforce – as the federal government’s lockdown of international borders continues to cripple the aviation industry.
Qantas planes grounded at Sydney Airport in April due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Airline CEO Alan Joyce warned on Thursday that almost all overseas flights will be cancelled until July next year
Speaking to journalists, Mr Joyce said the airline had ‘never experienced anything like this before’.
‘All airlines are in the biggest crisis our industry has ever faced,’ he said.
‘Revenues have collapsed, entire fleets are grounded and the world biggest carriers are taking extreme action just to survive.
‘IATA -the peak body for airlines – says it will take more than three years for global travel to return to 2019 levels.
Mr Joyce said the impact of coronavirus meant the company would have to become a ‘smaller airline’ in the short term.
The airline’s fleet of 12 Airbus A380s used for long-haul flights will be grounded for three years and moved to storage in California’s Mojave desert.
‘We have to position ourselves for several years where revenues will be much lower.
And that means becoming a smaller airline in the short term.’
Mr Joyce at a press conference on Thursday. ‘It’s clear that International travel is likely to be stalled for a long time,’ he said at the conference
Air crew walk through the Qantas Terminal at Sydney Airport on June 19.
Some 15,000 staff members who have already been stood down will remain out of work ‘for some time’
The airline’s 15,000 staff members already stood down will remain out of work ‘for some time’.
The staff cuts come just days after Qantas cancelled all of its international flights other than those between Australia and New Zealand until September because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Qantas employees working as ground and cabin crews and in the airline’s Sydney head office will form the bulk of the job cuts.
Mr Joyce said he expected to bring back about half of the 15,000 staff stood down to the workforce by the end of the year as domestic travel within Australia returns to normal.
‘The remainder – mostly those supporting international flying – will return more slowly,’ he said.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the company would have to become a ‘smaller airline’ in the short term as the COVID-19 pandemic stymies international travel
The airline is meanwhile attempting to raise $1.9billion to shore up its financial status – having already raised $1.55billion through bank loans (andygwsm462.xtgem.com) taken out against its Boeing 787-9 fleet.
Trading in the airline’s shares were halted ahead of the announcement of its plan to raise capital.
Mr Joyce said though he would remain on as Qantas CEO as part of a three-year plan to revive its fortunes.
In response to the mass job cuts, The Transport Workers’ Union said Qantas should have held off until the federal government reviewed Jobkeeper – an announcement expected at the end of July.