Qantas to shut base as 747 fleet is scaled back

By admin


Qantas has blamed the gradual retirement of its 747 fleet as the reason behind a decision to shut its Avalon heavy maintenance base at the end of March next year.

The closure, announced this morning, will see the loss of 53 permanent jobs and 246 contractors.

Qantas said there was simply not enough work at Avalon to make the base viable or productive.

The carrier said its 747 fleet has fallen from 36 in 2004 to 15 today, with that number expected to fall to 10 in three years.

“Over the next four years there would have been up to 22 months with no scheduled maintenance at Avalon,” Qantas Domestic chief executive Lyell Strambi said. “No business could afford to continue operating a facility under those circumstances.

“After reviewing all of the options, the only realistic answer is to close Avalon and have the maintenance performed on our 747s at another facility.”

He said no decision has been made over where future 747 engineering work would be carried out, with local bases and offshore locations in Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, UK and US all under consideration.

Qantas said its Brisbane heavy maintenance base would remain operational with line maintenance continuing at 19 ports around Australia, including Melbourne.

Strambi said unions had suggested some employees could take up to three months leave without pay in a bid to keep Avalon open.

But that “wouldn’t have come close” to addressing the lack of work, he said.

“This decision in no way reflects on our employees at Avalon, it simply reflects the structural changes to our fleet that means long periods of no heavy maintenance work,” Strambi said.

Qantas also flagged that further changes to its engineering operations are likely as its fleet gets younger. Newer, modern aircraft need up to half the maintenance of older equipment, Strambi said.

Closure of the Avalon base will cost Qantas $28 million in the 2014 financial year.

Latest News

  • Destinations
  • Hotels

Delamore Lodge unveils newly refurbished accommodation

Delamore Lodge, Waiheke Island’s exclusive boutique luxury hideaway, has unveiled the newly refurbished Ataahua Owners Villa. While Ataahua means “beautiful”, the owners villa is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment that offers complete privacy and self-contained luxury. The master bedrooms have sweeping views of the Hauraki Gulf waters, spacious super-king beds, ensuites with rainforest showers, and generous […]

  • Food & Beverage
  • Hotels

Hilton Honors extends its dine Like a Member promotion

Hilton Honors has extended its dine “Like a Member” promotion, allowing guests to get up to 25 per cent off on participating outlets in hotels and resorts within their portfolio. The offer is in effect until 31 December 2024 in all Hilton properties, excluding those in the Maldives, French Polynesia and outlets within Hampton hotels […]

  • Events
  • Tour Operators

ITE HCMC 2024 focuses on sustainable tourism for creating a future

The 18th annual International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC) will take place from 5 to 7 September at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center. Under the theme “Responsible Travel, Creating Future”, the expo will highlight its dedication to promoting sustainable tourism practices and showcasing innovative tourism products and services to meet rigorous […]

  • Appointments

Seasoned pro Chris Waite goes out on his own in corporate affairs & communications

Seasoned tourism and hospitality industry corporate affairs and communications professional Chris Waite has unveiled his new consultancy. Drawing on his 25 years of experience across Australia, Europe, and Asia, Chris Waite Corporate Affairs & Communications is dedicated to helping businesses build and safeguard their most valuable asset: their reputation. Waite will focus on delivering results through […]

  • News

Travel becomes the leading retirement priority in latest Equip Super research

A staggering 71 per cent of Australians are prioritising spending their retirement savings on travel, according to a recent survey by leading superannuation fund, Equip Super. Health concerns were ranked as second as the most significant priority in retirement with 56 per cent and spending on hobbies and interests takes the third spot at 54 […]

  • Aviation
  • Technology

SITA wins Heathrow Airport’s confidence with contract extension for network infrastructure solutions

Global leader in air transport technology, SITA, signed a five-year extension with Heathrow Airport to support its vast and growing network infrastructure. The agreement sees SITA providing a wide range of network, telecommunications, and connectivity services, while introducing innovative new solutions to business operating within Heathrow. SITA has built a strong relationship with Heathrow since […]