'A great time to join': Qantas on big recruitment drive
Australia's national carrier will be on the hunt for 8500 aviation industry workers in the next decade to keep up with post-pandemic travel demand after posting a record profit and reeling from a string of emergency landings.
Some 2000 of those jobs - for cabin crew, pilots, engineers and other operations roles - will be created in the next 18 months, Qantas said on Friday.
The airline currently has 23,500 employees and projects that number will grow to 32,000 by 2033 to support the expected delivery of 299 narrow-body and 12 wide-body planes across the same period.
"We order aircraft up to 10 years in advance, so we need to think similarly long-term about the people and skills we need to operate them," chief executive Alan Joyce said in a statement.
"Over the next 18 months, we expect to create more than 2000 new jobs plus replacing natural attrition, so if you've ever wanted to work in aviation or at the national carrier, now's a great time to join."
Last week, the national carrier posted a statutory net profit of $1 billion for the six months to December 31, compared to a $456 million net loss a year earlier.
At the height of the pandemic, Qantas laid off thousands of workers, creating a knock-on effect when travel resumed with delayed flights, lost baggage and a string of emergency landings.
It received a government COVID-19 bailout to the tune of $2 billion.
The airline has also announced it will set up a Qantas Group Engineering Academy in Australia to train up to 300 engineers a year.
Qantas will need about 200 new engineering recruits a year in the next 10 years.
Australian Workers' Union national secretary Daniel Walton said the announcement represented a "very welcome turning point".
"It takes a long time to train aviation engineers, so today's investment creates a long pipeline that will result in good quality Australian jobs for many years to come," he said.
The academy's location will be settled by the end of this year.
Overall, Qantas is seeking 4500 cabin crew, 1600 pilots, 800 engineers and 1600 other workers for operational roles in the next decade.