Qantas to consolidate maintenance facilities; cuts 500 jobs

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Published: May 21, 2012

Qantas (QF) will consolidate heavy maintenance work into Brisbane (BNE) and Avalon (AVV), the Australian carrier said in a statement. The move ends Tullamarine’s (MEL) role in QF’s heavy maintenance, resulting in a loss of 500 jobs.

The company said there is not enough heavy maintenance work to justify three separate facilities. New technology and incoming modern aircraft means there will be a further 60% reduction in heavy maintenance requirements over the next seven years, it added.

Heavy maintenance on Boeing 737 aircraft will move from MEL to BNE along with 767 aircraft and Airbus A330s. AVV will continue to maintain 747s. “It will also conduct some work on 737s and 767s, some aircraft reconfiguration work and remain available for one-off maintenance tasks,” it said.

QF CEO Alan Joyce stressed QF’s commitment to being the only major airline in the world to do heavy maintenance at its own facilities in Australia while pointing out the costs.

“Like the manufacturing industry, aviation maintenance is a labor- and capital-intensive sector. Our cost base in heavy maintenance is 30% higher than that of our competitors—we must close this gap to secure Qantas’ future viability and success,” he said.

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