Qantas has reportedly decided to cut 400 jobs at its Tullamarine maintenance facility, following up on plans to consolidate maintenance operations announced earlier this year.
The Herald Sun newspaper reported today that the job cuts would come from Tullamarine, where the airline maintains its Boeing 737 fleet, with another 660 workers at Avalon expected to lose their jobs within two years. Qantas, however, has declined to comment on that report, though a spokeswoman confirmed to AAP that about 400 jobs would go. She said a decision as to which maintenance facility would shed the jobs would not come until mid-month, AAP reported.
Qantas announced a previous round of 500 job cuts in February on the back of an 83 per cent drop in first half profits. At the time, the airline said it would launch a review of its maintenance operations in Australia, which employ about 1460 workers at facilities in Tullamarine, Avalon and Brisbane.
The airline is seen as likely to close at least one and possibly two of those facilities as it moves to consolidate maintenance and cut costs. Qantas says its maintenance operations in Australia cost at least 30 per cent more than its competitors and claims that labour demand will drop by 60 per cent over the next five years as ageing aircraft are replaced by newer models.