‘Kick in guts’: Fury over Qantas jobs shake-up


MORE than 70 Qantas group jobs in the Far North are likely to be outsourced and 60 aircrew will be transferred to Victoria after the airline announced a restructure that left the Transport Workers Union livid.

The changes were revealed as part of the Qantas COVID-19 recovery program.

Qantas will review 45 jobs in ground handling at Cairns Airport and Jetstar will immediately outsource 30 roles.

The TWU has described the changes as "disgraceful."

"This announcement will likely see close to 100 workers in Cairns made redundant, forced to reapply for their own jobs with substandard wages and conditions through a third party contractor," TWU Queensland branch secretary Peter Biagini said.

Peter Biagini, branch secretary of the TWU Qld. Picture: Steve Pohlner
Peter Biagini, branch secretary of the TWU Qld. Picture: Steve Pohlner


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Qantas has also resolved to move Qantaslink 717 aircraft that would overnight in Cairns to Melbourne.

Sixty aircrew will have the option of moving south to the new southern base.

"The changes are about having the right sized aircraft operating on the right route with the flexibility to ramp up and down as required," a Qantas spokesman said.

"We're doing this to better match capacity with expected demand."

The transfer is expected to take effect in March 2021.

Cairns Airport chief executive Norris Carter said the effects of the pandemic on the aviation sector were evolving.


Cairns Airport CEO Norris Carter. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Cairns Airport CEO Norris Carter. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

"This remains a challenging time for all aviation related industries. Cairns Airport will continue to work with our aviation partners over this period to support the safe and continuous operation of services," he said.

Cairns is one of 10 airports nationwide that would be affected by the Qantas job review and one of six to be affected by the Jetstar's outsourcing.

Jetstar will provide affected staff a redundancy package and support to transition to new jobs outside the business.

Cairns Chamber of Commerce president Sally Mlikota said the development was a "kick in the guts."

"While we might be more active and have more flights than other regions, we are a long way from celebrating normality," she said.


Jobs flying out

Qantas to review 45 ground crew jobs in Cairns

Jetstar to immediately outsource 30 ground crew jobs in Cairns

Qantas to relocate 717 fleet from Cairns, affecting 60 aircrew

An updated Qantas domestic schedule is expected to be published in September



Originally published as 'Kick in guts': Fury over Qantas jobs shake-up