Qantas has just announced a three-year strategy to guide its recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, including grounding almost all of its international fleet for up to 12 months.
We have some of the best prospects for recovery, especially in the domestic market, but it will take years before international flying returns to what it was
CEO Alan Joyce said the carrier had entered the crisis in a better position than most airlines. “We have some of the best prospects for recovery, especially in the domestic market, but it will take years before international flying returns to what it was,” he said.
The company will seek to raise up to $1.9 billion through an institutional placement and rights issue, with the immediate focus of the plan to right-size the group’s workforce and restructure to deliver ongoing cost savings.
“Subsequent phases of the plan focus on the increasing ramp-up of flying and pursuing new opportunities – including the airline’s ambition for more non-stop international flights,” Joyce said.
The carrier’s pre-crisis workforce will be reduced by at least 6,000 roles across all parts of the business, while stand-downs will continue for 15,000 staff, particularly those associated with international operations, until flying returns. Qantas will also retire its six remaining Boeing 747s immediately.
In addition to grounding up to 100 aircraft for a year or more, A321neo and 787-9 fleet deliveries have been deferred.
Joyce said the COVID-19 crisis had left no choice but to make hard choices, but “we’re fundamentally optimistic about the future”.
“Almost two-thirds of our pre-crisis earnings came from the domestic market, which is likely to recover fastest – particularly as state borders prepare to open. We have the leading full service and low fares airline in Australia, where distance makes air travel essential, and diversified earnings through Qantas Loyalty,” he added.
“As the national carrier we remain committed to supporting tourism, connecting regional communities and safely flying millions of people every year.”
Source: Travel Daily