AUSTRALIAN airline Qantas, which is headed by Dubliner Alan Joyce, is to cut 1,000 jobs and consider selling a stake in its low-cost Jetstar Australia unit as it faces making a big loss in the first half of its financial year.
Issuing a profit warning yesterday, Mr Joyce said Qantas was likely to make a loss of between A$250m and A$300m (€166m to €199m) in the first half of its financial year that ends this month. It will be the first time since the airline was privatised in the 1990s that it will have posted a first-half loss.
Qantas said there had been a "marked deterioration" in trading conditions, particularly November, with both passenger loads and yields below the negative trends that had already been seen during the year.
"We will do whatever we need to do to secure the Qantas group's future," said Mr Joyce.
He said that since the global financial crisis began, Qantas had confronted a "fiercely difficult operating environment".
He described the Australian international market as the toughest in the world. The airline has been seeking government financial support.
Mr Joyce – a former Aer Lingus worker – also defended his management team amid calls by some politicians for the Qantas board to resign.
The airline is two years into a five-year transformation designed to bring its long-haul business back to profitability.