Qantas cuts route and 500 staff
Thu, 16 Feb 2012 6:16p.m.
By Simon Shepherd
Qantas is axing its long haul flights from Auckland to Los Angeles, handing a monopoly to Air New Zealand as well as cutting 500 staff.
This afternoon, QF 25 left Auckland on time, but from May its six services each week from Aucklandto Los Angeles will be cancelled as Qantas searches for profitability.
Qantas is also scrapping three other long haul flights as it grapples with an 83 percent drop in net profit. The airline is blaming fuel price hikes and last year’s industrial action that grounded the entire fleet.
And now engineering and catering jobs are also being slashed.
“We anticipate there will be 500 positions affected by the immediate changes that we have announced today but let me clarify that there will be no jobs going offshore,” says Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.
No New Zealand jobs are being lost, but a choice of airlines flying direct to LA is, and that gives Air New Zealand an opportunity.
“There is going to be less capacity – I can’t put words in for Air New Zealand, but there is an opportunity to up prices if they want to,” says Dave Coombes of Flight Centre.
Air New Zealand says it has no current intention of raising airfares as a result of Qantas' decision but it did announce that it plans to increase its capacity on the route now that it runs the only direct flights.
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