Qantas to recall stood down workers

This news follows the easing of international and domestic restrictions

Qantas to recall stood down workers

Qantas announced that they plan on bringing back Australian-based workers who were stood down as a result of the pandemic. The returning workers include staff from Qantas and Jetstar, who will be able to return to work in early December.

"This includes around 5,000 employees linked to domestic flying and around 6,000 linked to international flying," added the company in a media release.

Some Qantas and Jetstar workers were stood down last year following a drop in demand for air travel due to COVID-19. That was lauded to be a temporary measure from the company to help deal with the consequences of the pandemic. Initially, the stood down workers were expected to be brought back to work in June 2022, but recent easing of domestic and international restrictions have pushed forward their return.

"Combined with operational and corporate employees already working, the Group’s 22,000 employees are able to return to work in December, which wasn’t expected to happen until June 2022," the company said.

Their return is attributed to the recent decision of the federal and New South Wales government to re-open international borders. NSW also said that they’ll remove quarantine restrictions for fully immunised entrants, a move Qantas noted would further hike travel demand.

"These decisions – combined with plans by states and territories to re-open domestic borders – support all Qantas and Jetstar workers based in Australia and New Zealand who are currently stood down to return to work by early December 2021," said the company.

Read more: Qantas announces compulsory COVID-19 vaccination policy for staff

Meanwhile, Qantas is also expected to launch a new route from Sydney to Delhi by December, which the airline said is the first commercial flight between Australia and India in almost a decade. In addition, Qantas will also be resuming flights to Singapore, Fiji, South Africa's Johannesburg, and Thailand's Bangkok and Phuket.

"We know that Australians are keen to get overseas and see friends and family or have a long-awaited holiday, so bringing forward the restart of flights to these popular international destinations will give customers even more options to travel this summer," added chief executive officer Alan Joyce. “We hope that as vaccination rates in other states and territories increase, we'll be able to restart more international flights out of their capital cities. In the meantime, Sydney is our gateway to the rest of the world.”

For domestic flights, Qantas and Jetstar will also be boosting the capacity between Melbourne and Sydney after the two cities announced quarantine-free travel.

The recent easing of domestic and international restrictions brought forward some plans of the company which were originally slated for later, which Joyce lauded.

"This is the best news we’ve had in almost two years and it will make a massive difference to thousands of our people who finally get to fly again," the Qantas chief said.


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