The COVID-19 jobs toll at Qantas will climb above 8,000, with ground crew positions across Australia to be outsourced.
Airline management on Tuesday signalled that about 2,400 workers who handle baggage, cleaning and other duties for Qantas and Jetstar will be impacted.
The move is forecast to save the national carrier $100 million a year as the travel industry remains devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Today's announcement will be very tough for our hard-working teams, most of whom have already been stood down for months without work," Qantas Domestic chief executive Andrew David said.
The group in June sacked 6,000 workers as part of a three-year plan to slash costs by $15 billion. It raised $1.36 billion from institutional investors in June, and $71.7 million from retail investors in August.
Up to 2000 jobs will be affected by Qantas outsourcing at 10 airports: Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Melbourne, Darwin, Perth, Sydney and Townsville.
Jetstar will also outsource ground handling at six airports - Adelaide, Avalon, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney Domestic - impacting about 370 jobs.
Qantas employees will have a chance to bid for the work, but not Jetstar staff, who have a different industrial relations arrangement.
Mr David said the Qantas group was due to lose $10 billion this financial year, and outsourcing was one way to address the situation.
"We know travel restrictions will lift eventually, but the market will be very different," he said.
"Every airline will come through this much leaner and more efficient, and we have to be able to compete if we're going to survive."
The Transport Workers Union is calling for federal government intervention, citing "reprehensible, spiteful corporate dictatorship" on the part of Qantas, which had held the workers on JobKeeper allowance for months.
"Scott Morrison should step in ... and take an equity stake in Qantas and guide it through this mess because clearly corporate governance is not working at this company," union National Secretary Michael Kaine said.
He called on the airline to repay millions of dollars in JobKeeper wage subsidies which had been claimed with the express intent of keeping people employed.
"This is a clear misuse of community money. This is a clear abuse of community trust."
Mr Kaine called for the scalp of Qantas CEO Alan Joyce over Tuesday's news.
The airline has received $515 million in government support, according to a spokesman.
Most of this support was via JobKeeper ($267 million), which had largely gone to stood-down workers.
The rest of the funds helped bring Australians home from overseas and provide critical services.
Shares in the airline finished higher by 2.95 per cent to $3.84 at the close of trade on Tuesday.