The decision by Qantas to axe 167 engineering jobs will cause flight delays as a shrinking workforce struggles to maintain its planes, the union representing the engineers says.
Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association federal secretary Steve Purvinas said the sacking of the engineers would result in the workforce becoming "drastically undermanned" and place pressure on the airline to "cut corners".
"Our members will not jeopardise safety and allow that to happen, so more than likely we are going to see in the future there is going to be quite a few delays on Qantas aircrafts," he told reporters in Melbourne on Tuesday.
Purvinas said the job prospects of the sacked engineers were not promising.
"Unfortunately our engineers are so highly qualified in their field they wouldn't be able to secure any employment in any other industry," he said.
The axed workers are based in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne, and include engineering and back office staff.
The losses are part of 5000 jobs the airline announced it was shedding in February as part of a $2 billion cost-cutting program over three years.