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Qantas Shells Out $95 Million in Bonuses But Airfares Are Set to Soar as Airline Slashes Flight Schedules

Qantas Shells Out $95 Million in Bonuses But Airfares Are Set to Soar as Airline Slashes Flight Schedules

Qantas will pay 19,000 employees a one-off bonus of A$5,000 each to “share the benefits” of the airline’s recovery. Chief executive Alan Joyce said the bonus acknowledged the “sacrifices our people have made” during the pandemic such as being stood down without work for months at a time.

Joyce insisted, however, that the airline could not afford more than 2 per cent in annual wage increases despite the soaring cost of living. “Getting our permanent cost base right is how we’re able to reinvest, which ultimately means more opportunity for our people,” Joyce explained.

The bonus will be paid to 19,000 front-line employees who are covered by an enterprise bargaining agreement such as cabin crew who were badly affected by the pandemic.

The announcement came on the same day that Qantas said it would slash its domestic schedule by 15 per cent through to the end of September in an attempt to offset the effects of rising oil prices.

Flight cuts will continue through to March 2023 with Qantas looking to trim schedules by 10 per cent through the summer period.

Qantas said the impact on customers should be “minimal” but analysts expect airfares to rise even higher in response to the capacity reductions.

The airline said international flights would not be affected and that its plans to boost capacity were still on track. International capacity currently stood at 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and will increase to around 70 per cent within the next few months.

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