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Qantas Axes Head of International Service in Cost-Cutting Move as Flights Remain Grounded

Qantas Axes Head of International Service in Cost-Cutting Move as Flights Remain Grounded

Qantas Eyes 'The Last Frontier' in Aviation as Chief Exec Tells Australian's They've Never Had it So Good

Tino La Spina, chief executive of Qantas International will leave the Australian flag carrier as the airline seeks to drastically cut costs in the face of an extended grounding of flights caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Qantas recently said it didn’t anticipate restarting regularly scheduled international flights until July 2021 at the earliest, while flights to the United States may have to wait until a vaccine for the novel Coronavirus has been approved and widely distributed.

“The COVID crisis is forcing us to rethink our business at every level. It’s increasingly clear that our international flights will be grounded until at least mid-2021 and it will take years for activity to return to what it was before,” explained Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce.

“Under those circumstances, we’ve made the decision to consolidate the domestic and international business units under a single divisional CEO,” he continued. “Tino has done a superb job throughout his 14 years at Qantas. He’s a talented executive who brings his trademark enthusiasm to every challenge.”

La Spina, who was previously Qantas Group chief financial officer until moving to his current role in May 2019 has not commented on his departure from the airline. Before joining Qantas, La Spina was chief financial officer at British coach firm National Express and previously worked as finance and commercial manager at defunct Australian airline Ansett.

His responsibilities will be taken over by the head of Qantas’ domestic operations, Andrew David. The changes will take effect on September 1.

Joyce noted that the Qantas Group Management Committee took three months of zero pay in the last quarter and he will remain on 65 per cent of his normal remuneration until November. The rest of the management committee will take a 15 per cent pay cut until the same time.

Last week, Qantas blamed the Corona crisis as it reported a pre-tax loss of $2.7 billion. Joyce has called on Australian lawmakers to develop a national framework for the reopening of domestic borders.

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