Qantas cuts 500 jobs and splits into two arms: Midday roundup

Qantas has announced a major restructure, which will see it split its operations into separate domestic and international businesses with their own management.

News of the restructure followed the airline’s announcement yesterday that it was cutting 500 jobs.

The two arms, Qantas International and Qantas Domestic, will be formally managed as two distinct businesses, with their own operational and commercial functions.

Financial results from each arm will also be reported separately and the new structure will be effective from July 1 this year.

“This change will enable a greater focus on the priorities of turning around the Qantas International business and enhancing the strong Qantas Domestic business, as part of the overall group strategy,” Qantas says in a statement.

Abbott attacks Gillard over Thomson scandal

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has attacked the government and Prime Minister Julia Gillard over the Craig Thomson scandal, saying the government is conducting a “revolting spectacle”.

AAP has reported Abbott as saying Thomson’s statement yesterday was “utterly implausible”.

“It is an increasingly revolting spectacle of a government which frankly shouldn’t be there,” he said

“I think the Australian people think it’s high time they got a new say on who should be governing our country,” Abbott told reporters, also rebuffing attacks made by Thomson against Abbott himself.

“I think that those sorts of statements will be treated basically with derision by the general public because this is someone who has failed to explain his own conduct,” Abbott said.

Independent MP Rob Oakeshott may also be rethinking his support for the government, Abbott said.

Oakeshott told ABC TV that Thomson’s explanation of a set-up is “possible, but in my personal view it’s unlikely”.

“Rob Oakeshott in particular is starting to ask himself the question, ‘What does it say about my integrity that I’m now bracketed with Craig Thomson as the person who is keeping this government going’,” Abbott told Macquarie Radio.

European leaders commit to Greece in euro zone

European leaders, including Germany and France, have committed themselves to keeping Greece in the euro zone despite political and financial turmoil.

“We agreed that we have to do everything to keep Greece in the euro club,” said German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble after his first official meeting with French counterpart Pierre Moscovici.

“We both believe that Greece has its place in the euro zone,” said Moscovici.

“Europe has to send signs to bolster investment and growth in Greece at a time when it is going through a violent recession,” he said.

Stock market edges up on the back of stronger European markets

The Australian stock market edged up in early trade after European markets gained overnight.

At the market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index grew 0.44% to 4,091.8 points and the broader All Ordinaries Index rose 0.49% to 4,145 points.

The resources sector strengthened at the open, with the major miners gaining ground.

Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, says global markets were continuing the process of establishing a base level from which to await further clarity on how the Greek crisis will be resolved.

“Investors are encouraged by the German Finance Minister’s statement that Europe would find solutions in order to strengthen sustainable growth,” says Spooner.

“Traders are likely to see this as indicating increasing unity with France and others on the potential for some form of spending stimulus.”


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