Tue. Jul 5th, 2022

Qantas chief Alan Joyce said the one-off payment was indicative of the airline sharing the benefits of the travel rebound, which began in December, and to “recognize the great work [staff] are doing ”.

“Today, we’re announcing a one-off payment that goes some of the way to acknowledging the sacrifices our people have made, including long periods of no work and no annual wage increases,” he said.

Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans is departing in December.

Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans is departing in December.Credit:Michael Quelch

Qantas is currently negotiating to increase wages by two per cent, following a two-year wage freeze for all staff during the pandemic. Joyce said the airline “can not afford” to increase salaries beyond the two per cent threshold but could afford the one-off payment.

Qantas has reiterated that there will be 15 per cent more ground handling staff during the July school holidays compared to the Easter break, as airlines make readjustments to side-step lengthy queues and chaotic airport scenes seen recently.

Qantas’ ground handling workforce has been entirely outsourced after slashing 2000 workers during the pandemic, in a move the Federal Court later found was illegal.

More than 1000 operational staff have been hired across Qantas and Jetstar since April and hundreds more added to call centers to reduce call wait times. The carrier said 20 per cent of staff will be on standby over the July school holiday period in case of sick leave, and new check-in and luggage kiosks will be rolled out, beginning in Sydney.

In recent comments about delayed or missing luggage over the long weekend, Joyce said it was an “airport service issue” caused by an IT outage at Sydney and Brisbane airports.

Qantas paid tribute to Evans in a statement, saying he had played a key role in leading Jetstar through the pandemic.

“Gareth has decided this is the right moment to move on,” Qantas said in a statement.

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“He’s given an incredible amount to the organization in several key roles, from his time as CFO through major restructuring and most recently as Jetstar CEO as we navigated COVID. When he leaves next year it will be with our sincere thanks and best wishes. ”

An internal recruitment process has already begun, with the handover expected to take the most of this year.

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