Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has warned overseas travel is at least one year away, as he moves to sack 6,000 staff.
“Revenue for international airlines is expected to decline by a further 31.5 per cent in 2020-21, as international borders remain closed until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available,” he said
Joyce also said he did not expect any meaningful international travel until at least mid-2021 or longer.
Qantas also said it was looking at reducing $15 billion in costs over the next 3-years to cope with the crisis.
In a statement and press conference today, the Qantas CEO said he would need to reduce his workforce by thousands and continue to stand down 12,000 people.
Joyce said the airline would immediately retire all 747 aircraft and orders for new aircraft would be postponed.
New aircraft that had already been ordered and paid for would remain in storage.
The ambitious “project sunrise” program that would have seen non-stop flights from Sydney to London and Sydney to New York, would also be scrapped for now.
“The actions we must take will have a huge impact on thousands of our people,” he said in a statement.
“But the collapse in billions of dollars in revenue leaves us little choice if we are to save as many jobs as possible, long term.”
He added that Qantas, and its budget subsidiary Jetstar, would continue to extend a furlough for about 15,000 workers “as we wait for the recovery we know is coming”.
In a May interview, Joyce said the airline would struggle to make it to mid-2021. The massive cost reductions were a reality that the airline had to face in order to survive long term.
More news as we get it.
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Ryan is Contributing Editor