SYDNEY Nov 8 Qantas Airways Ltd said
on Friday it is closing an Australian maintenance plant next
year, delivering another blow to the country's ailing
Qantas said its heavy maintenance facility in Avalon in
Victoria state was no longer viable because the gradual
retirement of its Boeing 747 fleet is reducing the
The airline said it will look at other sites to carry out
the remaining work, including specialist Boeing 747 maintenance
providers in Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, Britain and the
The Avalon facility employs around 300 people. A minority of
jobs will be redeployed, the airline said.
Qantas Domestic Chief Executive Officer Lyell Strambi
flagged further reductions in the airline's 4,400 engineering
staff in Australia.
"Our fleet is now the youngest it has been in two decades
and more modern aircraft have up to half the maintenance needs
of older ones," Strambi told reporters in Sydney. "This will
mean ongoing changes to our engineering operations in order for
Qantas to remain competitive."
The planned closure comes just months after Ford Motor Co
revealed it will shut its two Australian auto plants in
October 2016, blaming a strong currency and high costs.
The closures of the two plants, also in Victoria state, will
cost around 1,200 jobs from Ford's 3,000-strong Australian
Qantas said the closure will result in a one-off cost this
financial year of A$28 million, with net benefits expected to be
realised from full-year 2015.
The airline will retain a heavy maintenance facility in
Brisbane and continue to conduct the majority of its maintenance
in Australia, Strambi said, dismissing suggestions Qantas would
move the bulk of the work to Asia.
Qantas shares were down 0.2 percent at A$1.22 in early
trade, in line with the broader market.