Qantas to cut flights due to rising costs

Qantas to cut flights due to rising costs

Qantas will cut flights from some of its busiest Australian routes as it struggles to cope with the high cost of fuel and staff shortages at airports.

Domestic capacity will be reduced to March 2023, according to the airline's announcement on Friday.

The impact on customers was expected to be minimal as flights would be removed from high frequency routes. Those affected will be contacted directly with alternatives as close as possible to their original timing, usually within 1 -- 2 hours, according to a statement from Qantas.

Many of these adjustments have already been made with the rest coming through in the coming days. In the first quarter of the new financial year, the airline's domestic capacity will be reduced to 99 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and 106 per cent in the second quarter.

Qantas has been able to recover the cost of high fuel prices in the international market through higher fares, but has not been able to do so in the domestic market, Chief Executive Alan Joyce said this week.

Friday's announcement came as Qantas' on-time performance levels have fallen and Australian airports have been struggling to secure enough workers because of layoffs during the Pandemic.

Last week, Sydney Airport held a recruitment fair in an effort to hire 5,000 needed staff.

Mr Joyce said on Sunday that the airline industry was rusty as a result of the hibernation during COVID 19 but he was confident that Qantas would be able to fix its issues within a few weeks.

After a two-year wage freeze, the airline said it planned to give $5,000 bonuses to up to 19,000 staff.

Qantas also said on Friday that Gareth Evans, the head of its low-cost arm, Jetstar, would step down from his role in December after 23 years with the group.

According to investors and analysts, Mr Evans is one of the top contenders to replace Mr Joyce, who has led Qantas since 2008 and plans to stay until at least the end of 2023.

Several of the potential successors have left for CEO positions elsewhere because of Mr Joyce's unusually long tenure.

Mr Evans will remain with the group to work on key projects before leaving in 2023, the airline said, adding that an internal recruitment process was under way to appoint a new CEO for Jetstar.