22 May 2012

Maintenance jobs to be cut at airline

3:27 pm on 22 May 2012

Qantas will cut 500 jobs as it consolidates its heavy maintenance work into two bases.

The airline will shift heavy maintenance work from Tullamarine in Melbourne to bases in Brisbane, Queensland, and Avalon, Victoria, following an overhaul announced in February that sparked a jobs bidding war between the states.

Qantas says it does not have enough heavy maintenance work to justify keeping all three facilities open.

Chief executive Alan Joyce on Monday flagged further job losses at Avalon which would also likely be closed as the airline's overall heavy maintenance requirements expected to fall a further 60% by 2019.

The ABC reports the changes will mean the loss of 422 jobs at Tullamarine and 113 positions at Avalon, but 30 new positions will be created in Melbourne and five in Sydney.

Qantas says the restructure will initially cost the company around $A50 million in one-off expenses but will save it $A70 to $A100 million per year.

In February, the airline announced an 83% slump in half-year profit to $A42 million at the same time as it announced the maintenance review.