Qantas takes axe to jobs in engineering

Qantas Airbus A380, the worlds largest commercial aircraft, flying over Auckland on its first visit to New Zealand. Photo / NZPA
Qantas Airbus A380, the worlds largest commercial aircraft, flying over Auckland on its first visit to New Zealand. Photo / NZPA

Qantas is cutting 167 jobs from its engineering division as part of the embattled airline's ongoing turnaround plan.

Workers affected by the cuts are based in Sydney and Melbourne and are a mixture of engineers and back office staff.

The cuts are part of 5000 jobs the airline announced in February it was shedding as part of a A$2 billion cost-cutting programme over three years.

At the time, Qantas flagged it would make more changes to its engineering division to reflect its reduced workload.

Qantas Domestic chief executive Lyell Strambi said the airline did not need as many engineering staff as it was retiring older aircraft and buying new planes requiring less maintenance.

"We are working with our employees throughout this difficult time and will be providing as much support as we can, through career transition services and employee assistance programme," he said. "People will be provided with generous redundancy packages."

Qantas has so far shed 2200 jobs, including catering, freight and air and ground crew positions.

A total of 4000 jobs, including 1500 management roles, will be gone by the end of June 2015.

Out of the latest cuts, 73 of the workers were licensed aircraft maintenance engineers, 36 held support and administration roles, and 58 were in components maintenance services.

The national carrier posted a A$252 million half-year loss in February, mainly driven by its domestic battle with rival Virgin Australia, fierce competition on international routes and problems with Jetstar.

Qantas has already closed its Avalon and Tullamarine heavy maintenance bases. It has insisted it is committed to carrying out engineering and maintenance work in Australia.

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