Qantas should consider selling assets before looking to the Federal Government for financial support or changes in regulations, Transport Minister Warren Truss says.
The Government made its reluctance to intervene clear as WA Labor Senator Glenn Sterle and South Australian independent Nick Xenophon called on the airline's management to resign, accusing company chiefs of incompetence.
The airline has put proposals to the Government for assistance, ranging from changes to the Qantas Sale Act, which caps foreign ownership to 49 per cent, to a taxpayer- guarantee of Qantas debt.
Mr Truss said Qantas had "plenty of assets" that could be offloaded to ease its financial burden such as Jetstar and Qantas' frequent-flyer program.
He said the Government might consider a change to the Qantas Sale Act but there appeared majority support for its retention in the Senate and by the public.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said there was no magic wand that would safeguard Qantas.
"We grieve for every worker whose job has been lost, we grieve for them, we appreciate just how difficult this is for them and their families," he said. "The best thing that we as a Government can do for the workers of Australia . . . is do our best to create a strong and prosperous economy."
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the situation would be particularly difficult for staff who were now fretting over their future.
He said Labor was prepared to work with the Government on helping the airline.
Senator Xenophon said the airline's problems were mostly self-inflicted, adding that chief executive Alan Joyce and chairman Leigh Clifford should quit.
He said both men, and the entire board, had put in place a series of failed policies.