Qantas will close its call centres in Brisbane and Melbourne
with the loss of about 450 jobs, as the airline moves ahead
with a $2 billion transformation programme.
The Brisbane call centre, which employs around 200 full time
equivalent employees would be closed by 2016, while its
Melbourne operation, which employs approximately 250 full
time equivalent employees, would close by mid-2015, the
carrier announced today.
Employees in the Brisbane and Melbourne call centres will be
offered re-deployment to Hobart, where the airline will base
its call centre operations in a single facility by 2016.
The decision to close the Brisbane and Melbourne centres
follows a three month review.
It's part of a previously announced $2 billion transformation
programme, which will eventually see Qantas shed 5000 jobs.
Qantas Domestic chief executive officer Lyell Strambi said
operating three call centres in different states was not
"We are facing some of the toughest conditions Qantas has
ever seen, which means we have to look at ways to become more
efficient and remain competitive," Mr Strambi said in a
"Having call centres in three different states presents a
number of challenges including property costs, duplication of
management and operational complexity."
There has been a massive decline in the number of people
contacting call centres.
Travellers increasingly prefer to book flights online and
with call volumes have halved since 2005.
Mr Strambi said consolidating three Australian call centres
into one location would ensure Qantas continued to provide
the level of customer service people expect, as well as
deliver significant cost savings for the business.
"We are proud that we answer calls from Australia, in
Australia, but it is not efficient to have three sub-scale
facilities," he said.
Employees who choose not to move interstate and remain
employed until the closure of their centre will be provided
"These are decisions we make in full knowledge of the impact
on our people, but also the need to protect thousands of
Australian jobs across the Qantas Group by taking action to
strengthen our company," Mr Strambi said.
The announcement does not impact Qantas' New Zealand call
centre operation which has operated for more than 10 years
and mostly handles calls from English speaking customers from
outside of Australia.