As a result of high oil prices and the economic slow down, Qantas announced cuts to 1,500 jobs worldwide and a halt to its expansion plans on air travel to Australia. Its previously forecast capacity growth has been reduced from eight-percent to zero.
Among the planned cuts are closure of the call centers in Tucson, Arizona and London; the call centers in Australia and New Zealand will remain open. By December 2008, twenty-percent of management and office support positions will be eliminated; a hiring and pay freeze is in effect.
Additionally, 22 older aircraft from its fleet will be retired as it proceeds with its fleet upgrade program, bringing on board new and more fuel efficient aircraft, including the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787.
Prior to Friday’s announcement, Qantas has raised airfare to Australia twice and reduced capacity twice this year to manage rising fuel prices.