Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

Qantas To Raise $1.3 Billion And Lay Off 6,000 Employees

Qantas To Raise $1.3 Billion And Lay Off 6,000 Employees

Australia's largest airline, Qantas Airways, will raise up to 1.9 billion Australian dollars ($1.3 billion) in funding and cut at least 6,000 employees due to the pandemic. The reduction will affect a fifth of the carrier's staff as of before the start of the pandemic, the BBC notes.

About 15,000 people will remain on unpaid leave, mostly those associated with the carrier's international operations. In March, more than 80% of the airline's employees were sent on unpaid leave.

Qantas' decision to cut 20% of its employees shows how quickly the consequences of the coronavirus crisis can lead to cash shortages even for stable airlines, writes Bloomberg. In May, the airline announced that its existing funds would be sufficient until December 2021.

Meanwhile, as the number of new COVID-19 coronavirus infections in the world accelerates, airlines are expected to lose more than $ 84 billion in 2020 alone, with recovery taking several years.

"We have never encountered anything like this, no one has," Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said.

The airline this month canceled most international flights until the end of October after the country's authorities said the borders were likely to remain closed until next year. It also suspended flights for three years on all 12 Airbus A380 Airliners it had, which operated long-haul flights to Europe and the United States. In total, flights of 100 aircraft from the company's fleet have been suspended, and it is currently delaying the purchase of new machines.

The company expects to reduce revenue in the next three years and has to reduce operations to survive, Joyce said. He noted that the decisions taken would affect thousands of people. But the loss of billions of dollars in revenue does not leave the company with any other choice, especially since it intends to save as many jobs as possible in the long term.

Australia was among the first countries to reach the plateau with coronavirus. As a result, demand for home flights has re-emerged, and it is expected to return to pre-crisis levels by 2022. However, the demand for international transport will decrease slightly from the pre-crisis, according to Qantas.