Qantas cuts jobs as oil price bites

Australian carrier cuts 1,500 jobs as rising fuel costs put squeeze on airlines.

    Jet fuel accounts for 35 per cent of Qantas's costs [Reuters]

    "This is one of the toughest industries out there," he said.

    Qantas also slashed its forecast capacity growth for 2008/09 from 8 per cent to zero, and said it would scrap plans to hire another 1,200 staff.

    Airline job cuts

    Recent jobs losses announced as fuel prices put squeeze on airlines:

    UAL Corp/United Airlines – cutting 400 jobs from workforce of 55,000

    Northwest Airlines – cutting 2,500 jobs from staff of about 31,000

    AMR Corp/American Airlines – Plans 8 per cent cut from 85,500-strong workforce

    Air Canada – cutting 2,000 jobs or 7 percent of its 28,000-employees

    US Airways – cutting 1,700 staff from its 37,600 workforce

    Continental Airlines – cutting 3,000 jobs from its 45,000 staff

    In addition 22 older aircraft in Qantas' 228-strong fleet are to be retired.

    The airline's budget subsidiary Jetstar would also be hit by the cuts, with its hiring programme suspended.

    Dixon said Qantas had hedged about 70 per cent of its fuel budget for this year at around $115 per barrel of crude oil, and said he hoped this latest announcement would mark the last round of belt-tightening.

    Jet fuel accounts for about 35 per cent of Qantas' expenses, and rising costs are expected to add more than $1.95bn to the company's fuel bill to the year ending mid-2009.

    The price of crude hit a record $147.27 a barrel last week, but has since fallen back about 12 per cent, partly on easing political tensions over Iran.

    However, it is still trading around $130 a barrel, up nearly 30 per cent so far this year.

    Since it was privatised in 1993, Qantas has had a reputation as one of the most successful and profitable airlines in the world.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.