Qantas’ engineering operations at its two Melbourne region bases saw major cuts today: at Tullamarine, 422 workers were made redundant as maintenance procedures were moved to Brisbane, while Avalon will lose 113 jobs as the airport undergoes an engineering phase-out.
"We have done our best to get the best possible result for Victoria,” Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu told the Herald Sun. “They (Qantas) indicated that the Victorian Government could not have done more.”
The move from Tullamarine means that new jobs will be created in Brisbane to service the Boeing 747 jumbo fleet. Already, the B767 aircraft and Airbus 330s are maintained in Queensland.
In Melbourne, 30 new jobs in line maintenance will be created, along with another five positions opening up in Sydney.
The retirement of five 747 planes this year was a major factor that lead to the downsizing of Qantas’ service bases from three to two, the Brisbane Times said.
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“Qantas has invested heavily over the past 10 years in new aircraft that are more advanced, more efficient, attractive to our customers and require less maintenance, less often. But we cannot take advantage of this new generation of aircraft if we continue to do heavy maintenance in the same way we did 10 years ago,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. “We have sought to minimise the impact on our people, while delivering the best result for Qantas.”
Mr Joyce said Qantas is the only major airline in the world to continue its own maintenance.