Finance Finance News Qantas cuts 167 more jobs

Qantas cuts 167 more jobs

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Qantas is cutting 167 jobs from its engineering division as part of the embattled airline’s ongoing turnaround plan.

Workers affected by the cuts are based in Sydney and Melbourne and are a mixture of engineers and back office staff.

The cuts are part of 5,000 jobs the airline announced in February it was shedding as part of a $2 billion cost-cutting program over three years.

At the time, Qantas flagged it would make more changes to its engineering division to reflect its reduced workload.

Qantas Domestic chief executive Lyell Strambi said the airline did not need as many engineering staff as it was retiring older aircraft and buying new planes requiring less maintenance.

“While any job loss is regrettable, we have worked with our employees and unions over the past five months to reduce the number of compulsory retrenchments through voluntary redundancies, job swaps and redeployment – and we will continue to do so where practical,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We are working with our employees throughout this difficult time and will be providing as much support as we can, through career transition services and employee assistance programs.

“People will be provided with generous redundancy packages.”

Qantas has so far shed 2,200 jobs, including catering, freight and air and ground crew positions.

A total of 4,000 jobs, including 500 management roles, will be gone by the end of June 2015.

Out of the latest cuts, 73 of the workers were licensed aircraft maintenance engineers, 36 held support and administration roles, and 58 were in components maintenance services.

The national carrier posted a $252 million half year loss in February, mainly driven by its domestic battle with rival Virgin Australia, fierce competition on international routes and problems with Jetstar.

As well as cutting jobs and retiring old planes, Qantas is slashing capital spending and cutting some routes to help save money.

It has already closed its Avalon and Tullamarine maintenance bases in Victoria.

But Qantas has insisted it is committed to carrying out engineering and maintenance work in Australia.

The airline’s fleet of older Boeing 767 aircraft has been reduced from 20 to 12, with the remainder to be retired by early 2015.

It has been buying new B737-800 and Airbus A330 aircraft, which Qantas says have considerably less maintenance needs than the older planes.