A further 2,000 job losses at Qantas will see ground handling across ten Australian airports outsourced.

The latest round of cuts means that numbers will have been slashed by 8,500 from the airline group’s pre-Covid workforce of 29,000.

Qantas domestic and international chief executive Andrew David: “This is another tough day for Qantas, particularly for our ground handling teams and their families.

“Unfortunately, Covid has turned aviation upside down. Airlines around the world are having to make dramatic decisions in order to survive and the damage will take years to repair.

“While there has been some good news recently with domestic borders, international travel isn’t expected to return to pre-Covid levels until at least 2024.

“We have a massive job ahead of us to repay debt and we know our competitors are aggressively cutting costs to emerge leaner.”

Qantas aims to save A$100 million by using third-party handlers and A$80 million over five years by avoiding spending on ground handling equipment such as aircraft tugs and baggage loaders.

The announcement follows a A$2.7 billion annual loss due to Covid-19 and associated border restrictions.

Further significant losses are projected in the next financial year due to a drop of revenue of more than A$10 billion.

Qantas Group has taken on more than A$1.5 billion in additional debt since the start of the pandemic.