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Jobs go in  Qantas shake-up
Sell off: Qantas will reduce its fleet. Picture: Geoffrey Thomas/The West Australian

Qantas is set to sack up to 3000 staff, sell planes and terminals and cut routes in the biggest shake-up of the Flying Kangaroo's 93-year history.

The airline's boss Alan Joyce is expected to reveal the cuts on Thursday when Qantas announces a record half-year loss of more than $300 million for the six months to December 31.

The Weekend West believes Qantas will cut 10 per cent of its 32,000-strong workforce - more than three times the 1000 job losses flagged in December when the airline warned of an underlying half-year loss of $250-$300 million amid the "toughest market conditions it had ever faced".

Conditions have deteriorated significantly since, prompting Mr Joyce to push for Federal Gov-ernment assistance last week.

Virgin Australia has accused Qantas of trying to get a "free ride" and warned the Government against coming to the airline's aid.

It is understood the staff cuts will be across-the-board and will focus on management and backroom staff. Qantas is expected to reveal it will sell, then rent back its terminals in Melbourne and Brisbane.

Sources in Dubai and Britain said Qantas would cut services to London and lease four of its flagship 490-seat super jumbos and their pilots to Turkish Airlines, claims that were denied by Qantas last night.

Turkish Airlines did not deny the report but said its board was yet to make a decision.

A Qantas spokesman refused to deny 3000 jobs would go, saying tough decisions were ahead.

"Qantas has flagged the need to make tough decisions as part of strengthening our business, which we will outline next Thursday," he said.

"For our customers, this won't change our focus on being one of the world's best airlines."

The airline's staff costs, which are double those of Emirates and Singapore Airlines and 16 per cent higher than Virgin Australia, are a major factor in Qantas losing international market share to low-cost carriers.

Qantas carries just 17 per cent of international traffic into and out of Australia, down from more than 40 per cent in the early 1990s.

Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation chairman Peter Harbison said there would be "lots of bad news" when Qantas released its half-year results.

He said the airline needed to give its staff and Australians a clear vision for the future.

In December, Mr Joyce promised that Qantas would deliver $2 billion in savings over three years and undertake a strategic review of its business.