Qantas and Jetstar to Stand Down Around 2,500 Frontline Employees

(05 Aug 2021)
Around 2,500 frontline Qantas and Jetstar employees
are to be stood down for an estimated two months.

The temporary measure is the result of
a significant drop in flying caused by COVID19 restrictions in
Greater Sydney in particular and the knock-on border closures in
all other states and territories. No job losses are expected.

“This is clearly the last thing we want to do, but
we’re now faced with an extended period of reduced flying and that
means no work for a number of our people,” said Alan Joyce, Qantas
Group CEO. “We’ve absorbed a significant amount of cost since
these recent lockdowns started and continued paying our people
their full rosters despite thousands of cancelled flights. Qantas and Jetstar have gone from operating
almost 100 per cent of their usual domestic flying in May to
less than 40 per cent in July because of lockdowns in three
states. Hopefully, once other states open back up to
South Australia and Victoria in the next week or so, and the
current outbreak in Brisbane is brought under control, our
domestic flying will come back to around 50 to 60 per cent of
normal levels. Based on current case numbers, it’s reasonable to
assume that Sydney’s borders will be closed for at least another
two months. We know it will take a few weeks once the outbreak is
under control before other states open to New South Wales and
normal travel can resume”

Qantas’ decision will directly impact domestic
pilots, cabin crew and airport workers, mostly in New South Wales,
but also in other states.

Employees will be given two weeks’ notice before the stand down
takes effect, with pay continuing until mid-August.

“Fortunately, we know that once borders do reopen,
travel is at the top of people’s list and flying tends to come
back quickly, so we can get our employees back to work,” added Mr
Joyce. “This is extremely challenging for the 2,500 of
our people directly impacted, but it’s also very different from
this time last year when we had more than 20,000 employees stood
down and most of our aircraft in hibernation for months on end. The vaccine rollout means the end is in sight and
the concept of lockdowns will be a thing of the past. Australia
just needs more people rolling up their sleeves as more vaccine
arrives. The challenge around opening international borders
remains. There are still several thousand Qantas and Jetstar crew
who normally fly internationally and who have been on long periods
of stand down since the pandemic began. Higher vaccination rates
are also key to being able to fly overseas again, and finally
getting all our people back to work.”

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