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

Covid-19 vaccination will be required to fly, says Qantas chief

The Australian flag carrier's boss, Alan Joyce, said the move would be "a necessity" when vaccines are available.

"I think that's going to be a common thing talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe," he said.

Australia shut down its international borders early in the pandemic and required those returning to quarantine.

The country has more recently relied on lockdowns, widespread testing and aggressive contact tracing to push daily infections nationwide close to zero.

Qantas ends 30-year partnership with Rugby Australia

The Australian airline has been seeking cost savings because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has severely affected the travel industry.

"While it's disappointing to lose a loyal partner, it is understandable," said RA's interim chief executive Rob Clarke.

RA announced in June that it was cutting a third of its full-time staff.

The airline had already said it was losing 2,500 jobs and had posted an annual pre-tax loss of Aus$2.7bn (£1.51bn).

Qantas flight to nowhere sells out in 10 minutes

And, Qantas believes it's one of the fastest-selling flights they've ever put on.

The airline, which has bled almost $2 billion since the pandemic began, will run a "Great Southern Land" joy flight which will depart and arrive in Sydney.

Passengers have been promised great views of Australian icons like the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru, which are off limits to many people due to border closures.

"From the sky, there are no border restrictions," the advertisement says.

Coronavirus-hit Qantas posts $2bn annual loss

The Australian flag carrier's boss says trading conditions are the worst in the airline's 100-year history.

The firm also says around 4,000 of its 6,000 planned job cuts are expected to be finalised by the end of next month.

The global airline industry has been hit hard as travel restrictions have been imposed around the world.

"The impact of Covid on all airlines is clear. It's devastating and it will be a question of survival for many," Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said in a statement.

"Recovery will take time and it will be choppy," he added.

Last Qantas 747 jet says goodbye with 'flying kangaroo' in sky

Dozens gathered at Sydney Airport on Wednesday to wave goodbye to QF7474, writing messages on the plane's body and reading tributes.

The impact of the virus on travel means the 747 and others were retired by Qantas six months earlier than planned.

It will sit in the US Mojave Desert.

"It's hard to overstate the impact that the 747 had on aviation and a country as far away as Australia," said CEO Alan Joyce.

Qantas checking Boeing 737s after cracks discovered

The airline is inspecting of 33 of its Boeing 737 aircraft after global concerns about cracks on some 737 aircraft that had completed more than 30,000 take-offs and landings.

Qantas said none of its planes had completed that many flights, but it had found cracking in one of its planes during a routine maintenance check.

It said it would inspect 33 of its fleet by the end of the week.

Qantas completes test of longest non-stop passenger flight

The Boeing 787-9 with 49 people on board took 19 hours and 16 minutes to fly from New York to Sydney, a 16,200-km (10,066-mile) route.

Next month, the company plans to test a non-stop flight from London to Sydney.

Qantas expects to decide on whether to start the routes by the end of 2019.

If it goes ahead with them, the services would start operating in 2022 or 2023.

No commercial aircraft yet has the range to fly such an ultra-long haul route with a full passenger and cargo load, Reuters news agency reports.

Fiji Airways slams Qantas expansion

Qantas started flying from Sydney to Nadi four times a week in January, and now plans to introduce daily flights over the Christmas-New Year period.

Qantas also operates a codeshare agreement with Fiji Airways, and owns a 46-percent stake in the airline.

The chief executive of Fiji Airways, Andre Viljoen, said Australian visitor numbers to Fiji were flat and Qantas' expansion made little sense.

Fiji Airways does not have the capacity to compete with Qantas and the expansion could damage the carrier and the people whose livelihoods depend on it, Mr Viljoen said.

Qantas to fly from London to Australia non-stop

Australia's national carrier says it will connect Perth, in the west of the country, to the UK capital using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

The 9,000 mile (14,498km) flight will take 17 hours.

Perth will be a hub for passengers from eastern Australia going to the UK, tourism minister Steven Ciobo said.

He also said the new service would boost employment and tourism in Australia, a sector growing three times faster than the rest of the national economy, and one that supports 580,000 jobs.