The shedding of 6000 workers at Qantas could cause massive job losses throughout the tourism sector unless JobKeeper is extended, industry insiders say.
The shedding of 6000 workers at Qantas could cause massive job losses throughout the tourism sector unless JobKeeper is extended, industry insiders say.

Qantas cuts could hit thousands more workers

The loss of 6000 jobs at Qantas and the grounding of its international fleet until July 2021 will affect tens of thousands of workers in the wider tourism industry, experts predict.

"The message out of today is that the international market is not coming back any time soon," said Simon Westaway, executive director of the Australian Tourism Industry Council.

The "big gateways" for international travellers - Sydney, Melbourne and the South East and North East corners of Queensland - would cop the brunt of the hit, he said.

"They are most aligned to the international dollar. There are tens of thousands of jobs interrelated to this decision today," Mr Westaway said.

Pilots at Brisbane airport. There are fears job losses at Qantas could create more employment losses throughout the industry. Picture: Liam Kidston
Pilots at Brisbane airport. There are fears job losses at Qantas could create more employment losses throughout the industry. Picture: Liam Kidston

National CEO of the Tourism Accomodation Association Michael Johnson said that while public health was the main priority, hotels "will not be able to fully recover until international travels resumes".

"Problems in the airline industry will slow the recovery of the accommodation sector right across the country, which is why Tourism Accommodation Australia has been lobbying the government to extend the JobKeeper payment," Mr Johnson said.

"At the moment JobKeeper is the only thing keeping the industry afloat."

The Tourism and Transport Forum was making similar claims even before the Qantas announcement, releasing research on Monday this week that they said showed job losses in the industry could be as high as 130,000 if JobKeeper was not extended.

There are particular fears for travel agents, with Flight Centre revealing this week that 1500 staff are now facing redundancy, after 3800 were provisionally stood down in March.

Originally published as Qantas cuts could hit thousands more