Qantas proposes to outsource ground handling operations at ten Australian airports

Qantas ©AirTeamImages

As part of its COVID recovery plan, the Qantas Group has informed its people and relevant unions of initiatives affecting its ground handling operations at airports across Australia.

Qantas and Jetstar directly employ people in various ground operations roles – which includes baggage handling and aircraft cleaning – at 11 large airports around the country. They also use specialist ground handlers at airports at 55 other airports they fly to across Australia.

The COVID crisis has driven the need to examine how these services can be delivered more efficiently. Therefore, Qantas is proposing to outsource its ground handling operations at the ten Australian airports where the work is done inhouse. As part of this, a review will assess both external ground handlers and an in-house bid in search of making this function more efficient. Should the decision be taken to outsource the work, it could impact up to 2,000 employees, including some management roles.

Qantas is proposing to outsource its bus services for customers and employees in and around Sydney Airport. A similar, but separate, review will also be conducted on this proposal. Should the decision be taken to outsource the work it could impact 50 employees. Jetstar Airways has decided to outsource ground handling at the six remaining Australian airports where the work is done in-house, impacting 370 jobs, subject to union consultation.

This latest announcement follows an AU$2.7 billion (US$2.0 billion) statutory loss for the Group in FY20 and an AU$4 billion drop in revenue in the second half due to the COVID-19 crisis and associated border restrictions. Further significant losses are projected in FY21 and an at least AU$10 billion drop in revenue due to the ongoing impact of COVID.

Job losses of at least 6,000 have already been announced as part of rightsizing and restructuring the business in response to border closures and more permanent structural changes to the aviation industry. (Possible job losses of up to 2,500 as a result of this announcement would be in addition to the 6,000 figure.) Planned capital investment is also being significantly reduced, including the deferral of aircraft orders.

Email Post to a Friend Email Post to a Friend