Qantas To Axe 5,000 Jobs After £126m Loss
Australian airline Qantas has announced it will cut 5,000 jobs after posting a first-half net loss of £126m.
The airline, which is battling record fuel costs and fierce competition from subsidised rivals, is working to slash costs by £1.08bn over three years.
Part of the restructuring programme will see 5,000 full-time positions lost from its 32,000-strong workforce.
A wage freeze will also be applied across the whole company until the airline returns to a profit.
The airline also highlighted "significant changes" to its fleet plans and network and a reduction in capital expenditure of £500m over the next two financial years.
Chief executive Alan Joyce said: "We are facing some of the toughest conditions Qantas has ever seen.
"Hard decisions will be necessary to overcome the challenges we face and build a stronger business."
He added the Australia had been "hit by a giant wave of international airline capacity", with a 46% increase in competitor capacity since 2009.
Following a profit warning in December, ratings agencies Moody's and Standard & Poor's downgraded Qantas' credit rating to "junk" status, increasing the cost of financing for the airline.
Qantas has since been working on its finances to convince the government it deserves a debt guarantee and also lobbying the Australian government to relax the Qantas Sales Act, which limits foreign ownership in the airline to 49%.
The loss for the six months through December 2013 followed a £68m profit for the same period in 2012.
:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.