Australian Flag Carrier Qantas to Hire 8,500 Staff as 300 New Aircraft Deliveries Awaited

Australian flag carrier Qantas Airways will hire as many as 8,500 employees as it aims to replenish staff strength that was downsized during the Covid pandemic years. Crippling staff shortages had caused a surge of flight cancellations at Qantas in recent times.

Qantas said the hiring will be for the positions of pilots, cabin crew and airport staff. The renewed hiring marks a turn in the fortunes of the airline, which is adding more than 300 new aircraft to its fleet in the next 10 years. The delivery of as many as 299 narrow body aircraft and 12 wide body aircraft will take place over the next few years.

A Qantas Airways passenger bus drives near a Qantas Boeing 737-800 plane (top, R) at the Sydney domestic terminal, Australia. Reuters

Pandemic Era Job Cuts

The Australian carrier had cut more than 8,000 jobs during the pandemic, when air travel was nearly stalled. It now says it is planning to set up an engineering academy that will oversee the maintenance of its huge fleet.

"We are gearing up to meet the growth in all the markets we serve ... We order aircraft up to 10 years in advance, so we need to think similarly long term about the people and skills we need to operate them," Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said, according to Bloomberg.

According to 9 News, the new hires will include 4500 cabin crew, 1600 pilots, 800 engineers and 1600 other roles. There were also reports that Qantas will hire more than 200 engineers annually.

Engineering Academy

The Qantas group, which includes low-cost airline Jetstar, will hire more than 30,000 front-line workers over the next 10 years. Accounting for attrition, the company will employ around 32,000 people by 2033 compared with around 23,500 currently, it said.

Qantas Boeing 737
CANBERRA, April 4, 2016 (Xinhua) -- A Qantas Boeing 737-800 aircraft prepares to take off at Canberra Airport in Canberra, Australia, April 3, 2016. Xinhua/Justin Qian/IANS

The airline said it will need around 200 new engineering recruits annually. This number exceeds the current national supply of new aviation engineers each year. According to the Group, which also includes low cost carrier Jetstar, there will be around 32,000 employees in 2033, compared with 23,500 currently.

"Aviation is so important to a country like Australia and you need a big skills pipeline to power it ... That's not just about the major airlines but also small regional operators, defence and general aviation. It's a whole ecosystem that pilots and engineers, in particular, make their way through, and the long-term skills base required means it relies on constant renewal," the CEO added.