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Qantas to cut 500 jobs

Australia,Business/Economy, Mon, 21 May 2012 IANS

Sydney, May 21 (IANS) Australia's largest airline Qantas Airways announced Monday that it would cut 500 jobs following a review of its heavy aircraft maintenance and engineering operations.


The airline said it would consolidate heavy maintenance work into Brisbane in Queensland and Victoria's Avalon, Xinhua reported.


Qantas said the restructure was necessary as there was not enough heavy maintenance work required for three separate facilities and the introduction of new technology and modern aircraft would lead to a further 60 percent reduction in heavy maintenance requirements over the next seven years.


As a result of the restructure, heavy maintenance on Boeing 737 aircraft will move from its base at Tullamarine in Melbourne and be maintained in Brisbane along with B767 aircraft and Airbus A330s, the airline said.


The base at Avalon will continue to maintain Boeing 747s.


"There will be a net reduction of 500 positions as a result of the restructure," Qantas said in a statement Monday.


The airline said 422 jobs would go from its Tullamarine and 113 positions would be axed at Avalon.


But 30 new line maintenance jobs will be created in Melbourne and five in Sydney, Qantas said.


The airline said consolidating heavy maintenance and other engineering initiatives would save the company up to $AU 100 million ($US 98.54 million) annually.


One-off costs associated with the restructure will be about $AU 50 million ($US 49.27 million).


Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said the airline was working with the Victorian government to help employees affected with future employment opportunities.


"Dozens of companies in mining and resources, engineering and manufacturing who are looking for highly skilled workers have contacted Qantas seeking to make contact with affected workers," he said in the statement.


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