To “share the benefits” of the airline’s recovery, Qantas will provide a one-time bonus of $5,000 to each of its 19,000 employees.
The bonus, according to chief executive Alan Joyce, recognized the “sacrifices our people have made” throughout the pandemic, such as being laid off without pay for extended periods of time.
Joyce claimed, however, that despite the rising cost of living, the airline could not afford yearly wage hikes of more than 2%. “Getting our permanent cost base right is how we’re able to reinvest, which ultimately means more opportunity for our people,” Joyce explained.
19,000 front-line workers covered by an EBA, such as the cabin crew who were severely impacted by the pandemic, will receive the bonus.
The news coincided with Qantas’ declaration that, in an effort to counteract the effects of rising oil prices, it would reduce its domestic schedule by 15% through the end of September.
Through the summer, Qantas plans to reduce schedules by 10%, and flight reductions will continue through March 2023.
Analysts anticipate increased airfares as a result of the capacity reductions, despite Qantas’ claim that the impact on customers should be “minimal.”
The airline claimed that its plans to increase capacity would not change and that overseas flights would not be impacted. International capacity was 50% of pre-pandemic levels at the time and will rise to about 70% within the next months.