Qantas slashes capacity and jobs

QANTAS Group has announced a raft of measures to save its bottom line in light of rising fuel costs and the impact of natural disasters.

It is suspending four weekly Jetstar services from Australia to Japan (from April 1 to end-August) and Qantas services between Perth and Tokyo Narita (from May 8), as well as downsizing Qantas aircraft between Sydney and Tokyo Narita from a Boeing 747 to an Airbus 330.

Planned international capacity growth in the second half of the year will be revised from 10 to seven per cent, while domestic capacity growth will go down from 14 to eight per cent.

The airline is also retiring aircraft, reducing management positions and continuing to apply fuel surcharges.

In a media statement released at Australian Tourism Exchange, Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, said: “There has never been a time when the world faced so many natural disasters, all of which have come at a significant financial cost to the Qantas Group.”

In addition, he said the sustained increase in the price of fuel was “the most serious challenge Qantas has faced since the global financial crisis”.

However, the scale-back by Qantas was not met with much dismay by buyers and sellers at the show.

Moonshadow Cruises sales and business development manager Janene Rees said: “A seat capacity reduction is always a concern to the industry, but there are many other airlines connecting the world and Australia.”

Unique Choice UAE sales manager Munaf Khot said: “There are 60 flights between the UAE and Australia daily. As the destination is attracting upmarket travellers, fuel surcharge is not an issue.”

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