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Qantas axes 123 jobs in Bangkok following cabin crew base closure

Posted in Airline News, Qantas3 comments

123 Thai nationals have been left unemployed following Qantas’ decision to close its cabin crew base in Bangkok.

The airline, which blamed the closure on a slump in international travel demand, said the base was no longer viable.

The Australian carrier had previously embarked on a large recruitment drive for offshore cabin crew in a bid to slash labour costs and dilute the influence unions have over its 35,000-strong workforce.

However, Qantas has now decided to end its contract with the base that employed 123 Thai nationals to work as cabin crew on the airline’s international flights.

The Flight Attendant’s Association of Australia said that the base closure was a stark reminder that long-haul cabin crew have little job security in today’s economic climate.

Qantas has so far resisted axing cabin crew from its Australian-based workforce, although it has introduced cost cutting measures such as leave-without-pay.

Several years ago, the airline and union struck a deal to have no more than 25 per cent of international cabin crew made up of foreign nationals.

The union has a longstanding opposition to the offshoring of long-haul cabin crew jobs and Qantas employs a total of about 4500 international flight attendants.

“I wish to reiterate that this announcement of the closure of Bangkok, further demonstrates the serious job security situation for long-haul crew,” said union’s secretary of the international division, Michael Mijatov.

“This announcement by Qantas should demonstrate to even those that are most sceptical amongst us, that the current situation facing us is serious.”

Qantas also has long-haul cabin crew bases in London and Auckland. Crews based in New Zealand’s largest city typically work 30 per cent more hours on half the base pay of their Australian counterparts.

Qantas has been pulling almost every lever to cope with a dire short-term outlook, including grounding planes, delaying and cancelling deliveries of new aircraft, and raising $500 million from investors to keep its investment-grade rating.

In the past 18 months, the airline has already laid off up to 3250 employees and just last week it announced $1.5 billion in spending cuts over three years, including $500 million this financial year. It follows $3 billion in cuts over the previous five years.
Last week, Qantas also announced its first half-year loss in six years as it suffered from big falls in demand for premium seats on international routes.

3 comments

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  1. helloo i have experience before wrking with kingfisher airlines as a cargo officer nw looking for airline jobs in abroad nw i am in singapore

  2. pls let me know what should i replied.

  3. Wonder if these furloughed crew would go for SIA now

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