3 Jun 2011

Qantas offers redundancies to cabin crew

3:26 pm on 3 June 2011

Qantas has offered voluntary redundancies all 7000 of its cabin crew, saying it needs to respond to rising fuel prices and the impact of natual disasters.

Information about the deal was issued to staff on Thursday, the ABC reports.

The announcement came on the same day the airline said its international unit carried 509,000 passengers in April 2011, up 7.4% from April 2010.

In May, Qantas announced it would lift the price of its European flights after the EU, under its emissions trading scheme, said it would force the airline to pay a tax on 15% of its carbon emissions from its nearest port of departure.

The airline's chief executive, Alan Joyce, said in March that it faced the most serious challenge since the global financial crisis was at its peak.

Qantas wants to reduce its planned capacity growth on domestic flights and on international routes.

The airline is cutting three daily New Zealand domestic flights to Christchurch and one Melbourne to Christchurch flight, the ABC reports.

It is suspending up to four Jetstar services from Australia to Japan, as well as Qantas flights between Perth and Tokyo, and has put a smaller capacity aircraft on the Sydney-Tokyo route.

The move towards voluntary redundancy for cabin crew is the latest in a series of industrial issues for the airline.

The Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) is currently considering industrial action over wages and conditions following a canvas of its 1700 members.