18 Jul 2008

Qantas tipped to axe 2,000 staff

12:39 pm on 18 July 2008

Qantas is set to axe up to 2,000 jobs worldwide as the record price of oil hits airlines hard.

The Australian airline's chief executive Geoff Dixon has warned its 36,000 staff that operations were being reviewed and those results would be released next week.

It is not known how the cutbacks will affect the airline's operations in New Zealand.

"The continuing increase in the price of oil has necessitated a further in-depth review of all aspects of the Qantas Group, particularly how our flying business will operate in this new cost environment," he wrote in an e-mail to staff, obtained by several media outlets.

"We undertake this review with some reluctance, knowing full well the effort put in and the changes accepted by all of us at Qantas over the past 10 years. However, the facts are that oil prices staying at over $US140-plus a barrel has changed forever the way we do business."

Qantas is expected to announce next week that 5% of its workforce - about 2,000 jobs - will be axed, as will loss-making flight routes from both domestic and international schedules, News Limited reported on Thursday.

The job cuts would affect senior managers, flight crew, engineers and ground staff.