Qantas is cutting 167 jobs from its engineering division as
part of its ongoing turnaround plan, prompting the union to
warn the move will lead to flight delays.
Qantas staff were told of the job losses in Sydney, Adelaide
The cuts are the latest in 5000 jobs the airline announced in
February it was shedding as part of a $2 billion cost-cutting
program over three years.
Qantas Domestic chief executive Lyell Strambi said the
airline did not need as many engineering staff as it was
retiring older aircraft and buying new planes that required
One example was that the airline's fleet of older Boeing 767
aircraft had been reduced from 20 to 12, and the remainder
were to be retired by early 2015.
"The simple fact is as we are retiring our older aircraft,
aligning our maintenance systems with Boeing recommendations
and implementing process improvements, we need fewer
engineering employees," Mr Strambi said.
However, Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association
federal secretary Steve Purvinas said sacking the engineers
would result in Qantas being "drastically undermanned" and
place pressure on maintenance crews to "cut corners" to get
Qantas planes out on time.
"Our members will not jeopardise safety and allow that to
happen, so more than likely we are going to see in the future
there is going to be quite a few delays on Qantas aircrafts,"
he told reporters in Melbourne on Tuesday.
He predicted staff shortages would require the company to
defer repairs on aircrafts and force planes to be grounded.
The company's turnaround plan has so far led to the loss of
2200 jobs, including catering, freight and air and ground
The latest cuts will affect 73 licensed aircraft maintenance
engineers, 58 engineers in components maintenance services
and 36 support and administration roles.
A total of 4000 jobs, including 1500 management roles, are
set to be shed by the end of June 2015.
The national carrier posted a $252 million half-year loss in
February, mainly driven by a domestic battle with rival
Virgin Australia, fierce competition on international routes
and problems with Jetstar.