Qantas, Jetstar workers stood down over lockdowns, border closures

About 2500 Qantas and Jetstar employees will be stood down for two months because of domestic coronavirus border closures.

Domestic pilots, cabin crew and airport workers will be stood down, mostly in NSW, but have been told they won’t lose their jobs.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce expects borders to closed for at least another two months due to the knock-on effects of Greater Sydney’s ongoing COVID-19 crisis and lockdown.

Employees being stood down will be given two weeks notice and be paid until mid-August.

“This is clearly the last thing we want to do, but we’re now faced with an extended period of reduced flying and that means no work for a number of our people,” Joyce said on Tuesday.

“Fortunately, we know that once borders do reopen, travel is at the top of people’s list and flying tends to come back quickly, so we can get our employees back to work.”

Qantas had gone from operating at nearly 100 per cent of its usual domestic flights in May to less than 40 per cent in July.

This time last year, more than 20,000 employees were stood down.

Qantas’ announcement comes a day after the government said domestic airlines could claim $750 a week for half of their aircrew workforce.

Companies needed to show a 30 per cent downturn in business since Sydney was declared a national hotspot and could not retrench workers.


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