Qantas Statement On Overseas Jobs

Sydney, 18 January 2005

Qantas today confirmed that it was reviewing the opportunities to source some jobs, products and services overseas.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said that Qantas had made no secret of its need to compete effectively and that moving to more overseas-based services was always under consideration.

"This was first mooted quite clearly in the speech I made to the National Press Club in Canberra in May 2004, and in other previous speeches," he said.

"As a matter of fact, we have said for the past three years that we must source more people overseas, and that our continued growth of jobs in Australia depended on that.

"No one should be in any doubt that we are a major Australian employer, we intend to remain a major Australian employer, and by far the majority of our staff will remain employed in Australia.

"While almost every single full service airline has reduced staffing in numbers that total hundreds of thousands, Qantas has substantially grown its staff numbers.

"We have created 10,000 new jobs over the past 10 years, almost every one of those jobs in Australia.

"We have also grown jobs offshore - for instance with the establishment of the new London base, and not a single Australian has been made redundant as a result.

"While we reserve the right to make the necessary decisions to source the best possible locations for people, services and products, we are totally committed to continuing to grow jobs in Australia," he said.

"We are, however, operating in a global market and there is no room for complacency simply because we are currently profitable and successful.

"There are three major reasons for this - our close and constant attention to efficiencies, our decision to invest billions of dollars in new product and equipment, and the support of our staff for continued workplace change.

"It is very important for people to realise that unless Qantas is profitable and efficient it will be unable to continue to make major investments in aircraft and product and as a result create more jobs."

Mr Dixon confirmed that the airline was looking at a range of possibilities including joint ventures which would, if they came to fruition, involve new jobs being created in both Australia and other countries."

Mr Dixon reiterated that regardless of any decision regarding growth overseas, the airline had no plans for wholesale redundancies.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3201)