Qantas plans full-throttle expansion

An airline wants to employ more than 30,000 people, buy new aircraft and establish a new engineering academy.

Australia’s largest domestic and international airline will employ more than 30,000 frontline workers, buy state-of-the-art aircraft and establish new academies over the next decade.

Qantas is seen as the most important move to close the gap after cutting thousands of jobs during the pandemic.

Australia’s major airlines announced on March 4 that they will have about 32,000 staff by 2033, up from about 23,500 today, creating more than 8,500 new high-skilled jobs in Australia’s aviation industry I made it

This includes 4,500 new flight attendant positions, 1,600 pilot roles, 800 engineers, and 1,600 in other operational positions.

Over the next 18 months, the airline plans to increase its workforce by up to 2,000, as well as reduce its natural workforce.

Qantas is also preparing to upgrade its fleet with the purchase of 299 narrowbody and 12 widebody aircraft over the next ten years.

The national airline, which opened its first pilot academy in 2020, will also invest millions in building an engineering academy, which is set to open in 2025.

The academy aims to recruit around 200 new engineering students each year, and will provide Qantas and the wider aviation industry with two very popular disciplines: aeronautical engineers, defense contractors and general aviation. provide.

Qantas noted that the number of engineers retiring each year exceeds the current domestic supply of new aeronautical engineers. This means we need a new training pipeline.

“Aviation is very important to a country like Australia and we need a large skill pipeline to drive it. is the same.” Said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce on Friday.

“It’s a whole ecosystem that pilots and engineers go through, which means the long-term skill base they need relies on constant updates.”

A Qantas boss said the airline ordered aircraft up to 10 years in advance, so it should apply long-term strategies to its employees and the skills they need as well.

“In the short term, we are gearing up to accommodate growth in all the markets we serve. With more aircraft arriving each month, we need pilots, engineers, flight attendants, etc.,” he said. Added.

“We look forward to working with industry, training institutions, unions and government to finalize the details of the Engineering Academy.”

Criticized by job slash

The latest move comes after the national airline has cut 9,800 roles from its 30,000 employees over the past three years. In 2020, airlines were found by federal courts to illegally outsource 1,700 baggage handlers to third-party airline service providers like Dnata. Qantas has appealed the ruling.

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) said Qantas’ job expansion came when management “used COVID-19 cover to undermine workers and cut wages for personnel doing the same work”. He said it would not replace decades of lost experience.

The union claimed that Qantas’ “excessive redundancies” had resulted in the dismissal of 300 of its most experienced pilots, many of whom also had CASA-approved checks and training duties.

Qantas is reinstating flight attendants at lower wages and conditions than previous airlines, a reflection of the poor work advertised on Qantas Freight.

TWU general secretary Michael Caine said, “Rebuilding the airline industry will require more than bad job announcements, but it will turn experienced workers into an opportunistic response to COVID-19 by Joyce-led management. We need to return to the conditions where we were deliberately culled through an ideological approach,” he said. Friday’s press release.

“Without a meaningful shift in ideology and strategy under new management, Qantas will not return to what it once was. It was built, but those workers are gone and the jobs are now low paid and precarious.

“I made a surplus manpower to survive”

But Qantas bosses defended the layoffs, saying it was a survival decision.

“We laid people off to survive, but a lot of people left the industry anyway because we hadn’t had a job for nearly three years,” Joyce told the Today Show.

“So what we are doing now is hiring to fill that gap and accommodate future growth, as we have a lot of new aircraft flying new routes.”

Commonwealth Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor said Australia had the second worst labor shortage according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“It’s a big financial challenge, but it’s also a unique opportunity to develop the right skills for jobs in demand,” he said Friday.

“Australia needs thousands of new workers and engineers to enter the aviation industry to ensure stable jobs and a thriving sector. We welcome this investment by Qantas to support its development.