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Qantas job cuts on the table

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 31: A Qantas A380 takes-off at Sydney Airport priot to the 100 Year Gala Event on October 31, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Qantas will cut an unspecified amount of head office jobs, citing a “slower revenue environment”. 

In the company’s first quarter update, Qantas said that it will have “an increased focus on cost reduction initiatives” in the second half. 

“Given the slower revenue environment, we have a strong focus on cost reduction to make sure we keep delivering on our transformation targets,” added CEO Alan Joyce. 

“Part of this is about taking opportunities to reduce complexity and constantly improving how efficiently we manage our business.”

A Qantas spokesperson has confirmed there will be redundancies, but said quoted figures that as many as 1,200 jobs could go were incorrect.

"We recently confirmed that our group executive committee would reduce by one and there would be consolidation of some corporate roles where it made sense to do so, but the figures being quoted are wrong," the spokesperson said.

“To be clear about this, we are still growing in cabin crew, in pilots, in airport staff. We have a new aircraft arriving next week.”

“In a business the size of Qantas, there is often change occurring.”

Qantas boss Australia’s highest-paid

The job cuts come just weeks after Joyce was named the highest-paid CEO in Australia, taking home $23,876,351, as Qantas posted a record $1.6 billion profit. 

Joyce defended his salary, saying it was determined by Qantas shareholders. 

“My salary was determined by our shareholders. By the way, that information is now over two years’ old. The salary has come down quite significantly since then,” Mr Joyce said.

“But that was because the Qantas share price went from $1 to $6. That’s because our market capital went from just over $2 billion to $10 billion. And our shareholders did exceptionally well out of it, and every report that Qantas has had, has had a 98 per cent or 99 per cent support.

“The shareholders want the CEO and the management to be incentivised to actually turn the company around. And it was, I think, the biggest turnaround in corporate Australian history. That’s why that happened.”

Virgin cuts routes

But Qantas isn’t the only Australian airline attempting to cut costs. 

Virgin Australia Airlines on Wednesday announced it would exit some domestic and international routes to cut costs. 

Sydney to Christchurch and Hong Kong to Melbourne are all in the firing line, while Canberra to Perth and the Gold Coast to Perth will also be cut. 

“Some of today’s changes respond to shifting demand on some routes, and others are about refocusing Virgin Australia and Tigerair Australia on the destinations we feel they are best suited,” Virgin CEO Paul Scurrah said. 

Yahoo Finance has contacted Qantas.

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