Qantas cancels flights on domestic routes until March 2023

Qantas will cut flights from some of its busiest Australian routes as it struggles to cope with high fuel costs and staff shortages at airports.

The airline announced on Friday that it would reduce its domestic capacity until March 2023.

He said the impact on customers was expected to be “minimal” as flights would be cut “mainly from high frequency routes”.

“Those affected will be contacted directly with alternatives as close to their original schedule as possible, usually within 1-2 hours,” Qantas said in a statement.

“Many of these adjustments have already been made, with the rest to be made in the coming days. »

There are no changes to Qantas international flights.

The cuts will bring the airline’s domestic capacity to 99% of pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of the new fiscal year and 106% in the second quarter.

Qantas was able to recoup the cost of high fuel prices in the international market through higher fares, chief executive Alan Joyce said this week, but was unable to do so in the domestic market. .

Friday’s announcement came as Qantas on-time performance levels plummeted and Australian airports struggled to find enough workers after layoffs during the pandemic.

Sydney Airport held a recruitment fair last week to urge companies to hire the 5,000 employees needed.

Mr Joyce said on Sunday the airline industry was “rusty” following hibernation during COVID-19, but he was confident Qantas would be able to resolve its issues within weeks.

The airline said it plans to give $5,000 bonuses to up to 19,000 employees when they sign new union contracts after a two-year wage freeze during the pandemic.

The Transport Workers Union, the Flight Attendants Association of Australia and the Australian Services Union have called for the $5,000 payment to be made to all workers without conditions, including the 2,000 workers who lost their jobs because of outsourcing.

Jetstar boss resigns

Qantas also announced on Friday that Gareth Evans, the boss of its low-cost branch, Jetstar, would step down in December after 23 years with the group.

Investors and analysts saw Mr Evans as a leading contender to succeed Mr Joyce, who has run Qantas since 2008 and plans to stay on until at least the end of 2023.

Several other potential successors have already left for CEO positions elsewhere, in part because of Mr. Joyce’s unusually long tenure.

Mr Evans will remain with the group to work on key projects before leaving in 2023, the airline said, adding that an internal recruitment process was underway to appoint a new CEO for Jetstar.

ABC/Reuters

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