Qantas to scrap regional air bases
Qantas' regional carrier will ditch two of its bases in Western Australia and Queensland, with plans to centralise operations to reflect lower demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The embattled airline has decided to axe its QantasLink 717 bases in Perth and Cairns, with the move expected to affect 160 local jobs.
Qantas intends to centralise QantasLink in Melbourne, which it says will provide 100 new additional positions.
Employees affected from the regional closures will have the opportunity to relocate.
Around 100 pilots and cabin crew will be affected by the closure of the Perth base and 60 from the axing of the Cairns operation.
"QantasLink has completed a review of its network and will be relocating some aircraft around the country to better match capacity with expected demand as domestic and regional markets recover from COVID and travel restrictions," a spokesman said.
"The changes are about having the right sized aircraft operating on the right route with the flexibility to ramp up and down as we need to."
The airline said there was no net job losses from moving the aircraft to different parts of the country.
Eight Boeing 717 planes in Perth will be moved to the east coast and will operate out of Brisbane.
The Melbourne operations will consist of up to three Q300 turboprops and around six Boeing 717s.
Three larger Q400 turboprops based in Melbourne will relocated to Sydney and Brisbane.
"While border changes and lockdowns mean we can't operate between most states right now, these restrictions will eventually lift," Qantas said.
"When they do, we need to be ready to respond quickly to customer demand in the face of leaner competitors."