Qantas confirms 2000 jobs to go with ground crew outsourced

Qantas has confirmed it will retrench another 2000 workers and outsource all ground handling work at major Australian airports after rejecting a bid by employees to save their jobs.

The redundancies will be completed early next year and bring the number of workers Qantas has laid-off since the start of the COVID-19 crisis to around 8500, or close to a third of its pre-pandemic workforce.

Qantas says 2000 more jobs will go with the outsourcing of all ground handling work.
Qantas says 2000 more jobs will go with the outsourcing of all ground handling work. Credit:Paul Rovere

Qantas announced a review of its ground operations in August, looking to save up to $100 million by shifting baggage handling, aircraft cleaning and ground support work to third-party providers at 11 major airports.

The affected workers were able to “bid” to keep the work by outlining how they could do it more cheaply than a third party but Qantas said on Monday it had not accepted the proposal put forward by the Transport Workers Union.


“The TWU’s in-house bid claimed that significant savings could be made but it failed to outline sufficient practical detail on how this might be achieved,” Qantas Domestic chief executive Andrew David said.

“This is another tough day for Qantas, particularly for our ground handling teams and their families.

“We thank every one of them for their professionalism and contribution over the years supporting our customers and operations.”

The Qantas decision affects workers at Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Townsville airports. The airline already outsourced ground work at 55 smaller airports across the country.

As well as 2000 roles at Qantas to go, the group said in August its budget arm Jetstar would lay off 370 workers by outsourcing the last of its ground handling work at Adelaide, Avalon, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney airports. Meanwhile the roles of 50 bus drivers at Sydney Airport remain under review.

More to come

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