Monday, December 9, 2019
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Emirates safe from Qantas’ losses, Australian state politician says

Dubai: Fears that Qantas will cut as many as 3,000 jobs in the coming weeks will not have any impact on its Emirates partnership, said an Australian state politician.

Louise Asher, a member of government of the Australian state of Victoria, said Emirates is isolated from any ripple effect in the fallout of Qantas’ half-year financial results to be released this week.

Asher, Victoria’s Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Businesses and Minister for Tourism and Major Events, is in the UAE leading a trade delegation of 110 Victorian companies.

Asher is also Victoria’s Minister for Employment and Trade and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.

Last week, Australia’s Fairfax media reported that Qantas is set to axe up to 3,000 jobs later this week. The airline is already expected to announce up to 300 million Australian dollars in losses.

Asked what more the state government of Victoria can do to support Qantas, Asher said that Qantas “can make its own calls on where it is going to employ staff.”

“The government doesn’t tell the private sector where to do it. Obviously, when jobs go, there is disappointment but economies are always in transition,” she said.

Qantas has repeatedly called on the Australian Federal government for assistance to “level the playing field” against foreign-entity backed Virgin Australia.

Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand own more than 65 per cent of Virgin Australia.

“The options for a state government are limited. Do you come in and give them money to pay the salaries? Well, of course you don’t because tax payers will come in and rightly scream,” Asher said.

But the Victorian state government offered Qantas wholly-owned subsidiary millions of dollars last year to keep the airline at Victoria’s secondary airport, Avalon airport.

“We are seeking to develop Avalon as our second international airport and obviously there are jobs there associated with that,” Asher said.