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Australia's airline Qantas announces five years plan

08-16-2011 09:41 BJT

CANBERRA, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Australia's airline, Qantas, on Tuesday announced a five-year strategic plan that will see closer alliances with other airlines, including Malaysia Airlines, South African Airways and British Airways.

According to Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, Qantas International's cost base was about 20 percent higher than its key competitors, and the airline had to make fundamental changes now to ensure the international business was profitable.

"To do nothing, or tinker around the edges, is not an option," Joyce said in a statement on Tuesday.

"We have established a five-year plan that has the objective, first, of returning Qantas International to profitability in the short term."

Qantas said it is establishing a new airline, Jetstar Japan, in cooperation with Japan Airlines and Mitsubishi. The new low-cost carrier is expected to commence domestic operations in Japan by the end of 2012 and international services within a year.

Qantas also announced they would replace Buenos Aires with Santiago as their South African port, and that Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia will be a new gateway to Europe via Malaysia Airlines.

Joyce said at the end of the process, Qantas would participate in regional Asian opportunities and in the world, rather than being an Australian-based international airline.

However, Qantas said it will cut about 1000 jobs from its 36, 000-strong workforce as part of the plan. The job cuts will include management, pilots, cabin crew, engineering staff and airport administration staff.

Qantas is also planning to retire some of its Boeing 747 airliners and delay the delivery of some Airbus A380s as part of a restructure of its international operations.

Shares in Qantas gained six cents, or 3.9 percent by 10.36 ( AEST) shortly after the announcement.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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