Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce appeared to hint more jobs could be lost in his foreword to the business’ annual report.
“For not the first time in our history, we need to reinvent how we do things, which will result in more difficult decisions to ultimately protect the company’s future,” said Joyce.
The document, released to the ASX on Friday, also revealed the business’ most senior executive saw his take-home pay drop three-quarters to $1.7 million.
Joyce reiterated that more big change was to come as the airline restructures for a post-coronavirus world.
“The impact of this crisis means the Qantas Group will be smaller for some time to come,” wrote Joyce. “The markets we operate in will be different. And we’ll need to rebuild our balance sheet.
“Seeing so many people leave this organisation, and many more stood down from the jobs they love, has been the hardest part of this crisis. We continue to offer them as much support as we can.
“One positive is the feedback from other companies that have offered secondary employment, who describe the incredible professionalism and resilience of Qantas and Jetstar people. That spirit runs throughout the group and it’s what will help us recover.
“This company was founded 100 years ago in the wake of a world war and a devastating pandemic. We know that things will improve, and that the Qantas Group will thrive when it does.”
Qantas is currently at loggerheads with the TWU, which has taken the business to the Fair Work Commission over its proposal to outsource ground handling operations.
On Thursday, the union presented a report to the commission by Ernst & Young that argued those bidding to keep their jobs weren’t being given a realistic chance of success.
The union commissioned the professional services firm to assess the competitive process and it concluded Qantas management needs to give staff more information on cost savings and provide an assessment on how it will maintain standards if it cuts costs.
Qantas has repeatedly denied the claims and said in response that the TWU is “misrepresenting the situation”, “misleading its members” and will “vigorously defend” the union’s claims.