Qatar Airways warns of ‘substantial’ job losses

Qatar Airways has warned its employees of “substantial” redundancies as it struggles with a collapse in demand.

Its chief executive Akbar Al Baker wrote to staff warning of the job losses, although he did not say how many were under threat.

Qatar Airways said it needed to “act decisively to protect the future of the business”.

The airline industry is facing one of its toughest ever periods, with many carriers on the brink of collapse.

“The truth is, we simply cannot sustain the current staff numbers and will need to make a substantial number of jobs redundant – inclusive of cabin crew,” Mr Al Baker wrote in an internal memo.

The state-owned airline employs more than 45,000 people and has a fleet of more than 240 planes. In February, Qatar Airways increased its stake in British Airways owner IAG to 25% as part of its strategy to invest in other carriers.

“The unparalleled impact on our industry has caused significant challenges for all airlines and we must act decisively to protect the future of our business,” a Qatar Airways spokesman said.

“As a result, Qatar Airways can confirm that the airline will make a number of roles redundant due to the impact of Covid-19.”

Airline trade body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), warned last month that air traffic in the Middle East and North Africa would plummet by more than half this year.

IATA also warned that most airlines would struggle to make a profit if social distancing measures were introduced, such as keeping middle seats empty.

On Tuesday, Virgin Atlantic said it would be cutting 3,000 jobs and quitting its operations at Gatwick airport.

Source: BBC