Around 2,500 frontline Qantas and Jetstar employees will be stood down for an estimated two months in response to ongoing COVID outbreaks.
The stand-down is a temporary measure to deal with a significant drop in flying caused by COVID restrictions in Greater Sydney in particular and the knock-on border closures in all other states and territories. No job losses are expected.
The decision will directly impact domestic pilots, cabin crew and airport workers, mostly in New South Wales but also in other states given the nature of airline networks. Employees will be given two weeks’ notice before the stand-down takes effect, with pay continuing until mid-August.
Income support in the form of government disaster payments will be key to helping eligible employees get through this challenging period and the Qantas Group welcomes the targeted Federal Government support offered for those stood down outside of declared hotspots and to retain domestic aviation capability.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the difficult decision to trigger stand-downs reflected the reality confronting many businesses operating in New South Wales.
Qantas and Jetstar have gone from operating almost 100% of their usual domestic flying in May (based on FY19 capacity levels) to less than 40% in July because of lockdowns in three states.