Qantas Airways to Stand Down 2,500 Employees Due to COVID-19 Lockdown in Sydney

Qantas will stand down around 2,500 of its employees for about two months due to the extended COVID-19 lockdown in Sydney that affects air travel across Australia.

The airline announced on Aug. 3 that the stand down will directly impact domestic pilots, cabin crew, and airport workers, mostly in New South Wales but also in other states, but no job losses were expected.

“The stand down is a temporary measure to deal with a significant drop in flying caused by COVID restrictions,” Qantas said in a statement.

Qantas said that it will give a two-week notice to its employees before the stand down enters force, with pay continuing until mid-August.

“This is clearly the last thing we want to do,” Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said in a statement.

“Hopefully, once other states open back up to South Australia and Victoria in the next week or so, and the current outbreak in Brisbane is brought under control, our domestic flying will come back to around 50 to 60% of normal levels,” Joyce further said.

The announcement came a day after the federal government announced a $100 program to help domestic airlines retain their staff amid the COVID-19 restrictions.

Through the government program, domestic airlines can claim $750 a week for up to half of their air crew workforce as long as none were retrenched.


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