Qantas to freeze wages as it looks to cut costs

Australia's biggest airline, Qantas, announced on Thursday fresh cost cutting initiatives, as it forecast a more than $1.5 billion dollar loss in the 2021 financial year ending in June.

Qantas said it would introduce a two-year pay freeze and offer voluntary redundancies to its international cabin crew.

CEO Alan Joyce also made a direct plea to the government to reopen borders by the end of the year.

At the moment, Australia does not plan to open up to the rest of the world until the middle of 2022.

"Australians have done an amazing job keeping the lid on COVID, imagine if we were to put the same focus on the vaccine rollout. Opening up by the end of the year seems very achievable under those circumstances."

Qantas' finances have, however, been helped by a boom in domestic travel and it is no longer burning through cash.

The airliner said its domestic business traffic returned to 75% of its pre-pandemic level in May, versus 65% in April.

Qantas forecast underlying earnings before tax and interest to be around $350 million this year.

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