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Sydney Airport to make 20% of staff redundant

written by Adam Thorn | August 27, 2020

A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 at Sydney Airport alongside a Scoot 787. (Seth Jaworski)
A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 at Sydney Airport alongside a Scoot 787. (Seth Jaworski)

Sydney Airport is to make 118 roles redundant, or around 20 per cent of its total workforce.

Chief executive Geoff Culbert said in an email to staff on Thursday morning, “We’ve fought hard for every job and we hoped we would never be in this position, but the circumstances have overcome us and for that, I’m truly sorry.”

The business earlier this month revealed a half-year loss of $54 million – with passenger numbers down 96.6 per cent in the second half of 2020.

According to the memo obtained by NCA NewsWire, the losses will predominantly come from corporate roles and project management and construction teams.

“Today I am announcing a restructure that will impact 118 roles across the organisation, which equates to 22 per cent of our workforce,” Culbert wrote.


“This is such a tough decision and one I hoped we would never have to make. No one who loses their job today deserves that outcome.

“We are currently operating the business at a loss, roughly $20 million a month, and we need to reduce costs to reduce operating loss.”

Culbert then pledged to try and protect long-serving “frontline” workers where possible.

“There are people who have been loyal to the airport for a large part of their career, if not their entire career, and we wanted to honour that loyalty,” he said.

Australian Aviation has previously reported how Sydney Airport’s domestic passenger traffic almost doubled in July, due to a brief window when there was unrestricted travel between NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

The business said the increase from 140,000 in June to 276,000 in July proved there was a “pent up demand” for interstate travel. However, the increase was short-lived.

Queensland opened up to NSW on 10 July but closed to Sydney on 1 August and then to all of NSW and the ACT just a week later. The NSW-Victoria border shut for the first time on 6 July.

The result is likely to be a huge contraction in numbers, that will be revealed in the next week.

The news also follows Qantas’ announcement this week that it could lose another 2,500 workers by outsourcing its ground handling operations.

The proposed cuts, in addition to the 6,000 already announced, would include 370 job losses at Jetstar and more than 2,000 at Qantas.

The airline has blamed a “near-total collapse in travel demand” for recording a statutory loss before tax of $2.7 billion for the last financial year.

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Comment (1)

  • Paul


    Queue the unions outburst at job losses.

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