30-Nov-2020 1:03 PM

Qantas to outsource ground handling operations at 10 airports, notifies 2000 staff

Qantas Airways notified (30-Nov-2020) approximately 2000 employees that it will move to outsource ground handling operations at 10 airports across Australia. In Aug-2020, the airline announced its reasons for needing to restructure its ground handling operations, and commenced a review of external bids from specialist ground handlers and in-house bids from employees and their representatives. The bids were required to meet the following objectives:

  • Reducing the overall cost of ground handling operations, as Qantas anticipated it could save approximately AUD100 million (USD74 million) p/a based on pre-coronavirus levels of operations, through the use of third party providers;
  • Avoiding large spending on ground handling equipment such as aircraft tugs and baggage loaders, approximately AUD80 million (USD59.2 million) over five years;
  • Better matching ground handling services, and their cost, with fluctuating levels of demand.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) submitted a bid on behalf of employees in accordance with terms in the enterprise agreement. Teams from some individual airports submitted local proposals. Qantas stated no bids met the objectives. A number of external bidders, some of whom already provide the services at 55 airports across Australia, met all of the objectives, including reducing annual costs by approximately AUD103 million (USD76.3 million). Preferred bidders are being notified on 30-Nov-2020, and subject to consultation and finalising contract terms, transition is intended to occur in 1Q2021. Affected employees will be entitled to a redundancy package and given support to transition to new jobs outside the business. [more - original PR]

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