Qantas won't confirm job losses

Qantas is refusing to confirm or deny reports the financially troubled airline will axe up to 5,000 jobs as part of its efforts find $2 billion in savings.

The airline is said to be preparing to announce deeper job cuts than previously expected when it unveils a half year loss of up to $300 million on Thursday.

A report from News Corp Australia says the airline is planning to axe up to 5,000 workers, well above the 2,000 jobs losses previously expected, with 1,500 of those jobs expected to come from the company's executive and support divisions.

It also claimed Qantas was looking to sell its lease on Melbourne Airport and would announce the sale of its Brisbane Airport lease this week.

Qantas says it won't comment on the reports.

"There is fresh speculation about what things we will or won't announce on Thursday as part of our half year results," the airline said in a statement on Tuesday.

"We are not in a position to comment on that speculation."

But the airline acknowledged it would be making some "tough decisions" as part of its cost-cutting program.

"We have said that we will be making some tough decisions in order to achieve $2 billion in cost savings over the next three years, which is a consequence of an unprecedented set of market conditions now facing Qantas," it said.

Qantas has been lobbying the federal government for assistance, most likely in the form of a debt guarantee, though possibly also through the lifting of foreign ownership restrictions on the airline.

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