Qantas to outsource more than 2000 ground crew jobs due to pandemic

Qantas is outsourcing more than 2000 ground staff roles across 10 airports in a bid to lower costs as it faces a financial hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

Baggage handlers, ramp workers and cabin cleaners at airports including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns, Townsville, Alice Springs and Canberra will lose their jobs.

The move to outsource about 2500 jobs was first revealed in August.

The outsourcing cuts come on top of 6000 already announced redundancies across Qantas' workforce, revealed in June.

Qantas has now cut about 8500 jobs, out of a pre-Covid workforce of 29,000, due to international travel bans and state border closures.

Jetstar had already outsourced ground handling roles, costing about 370 jobs. That left more than 2000 baggage handlers and cabin cleaners fighting to keep their jobs.

Earlier this month, the Transport Workers' Union (TWU) put in a bid for those 2000 workers to keep their jobs.

Qantas has previously estimated about $100 million a year could be saved by outsourcing, and another $80m saved by avoiding large spending on equipment.

It had also said outsourcing would allow it to match ground handling services with fluctuating levels of demand, on the basis that Qantas expects its flying schedule to be more variable during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.