Australian airline Qantas has confirmed thousands of jobs are being cut in an attempt to save money at the company.
Stocks in the airline fell heavily on the back of the news as the firm revealed its plans to cut costs by A$2 billion (£1 billion) over the next three years.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce explained talks will be held with the relevant unions over the scale of the job losses by the end of the week.
In a statement, he said the airline was facing "some of the toughest conditions…it has ever seen" and that it needed to take actions "unprecedented in scope and depth" to cope with changes in the Australian aviation industry.
Qantas is also aiming to cut back on its spending by scaling back its fleet of aircraft by as many as 50 planes in the coming years.
Mr Joyce pointed out that there has been a 46 per cent rise in competitor capacity in the last five years and this has made business difficult for Qantas, which is one of the most recognisable companies from Australia.
Qantas stocks fell by more than nine per cent in trading today (February 27th) following the announcement of the 5,000 job losses by the company. Moody's and Standard & Poor's have also downgraded the airline's credit rating to below investment grade after the news broke.
Mr Joyce said: "Qantas has been undertaking its biggest ever transformation over the past four years, cutting comparable unit costs by 19 per cent, but this is not enough for the circumstances we face now."
An underlying pre-tax loss of A$252 million was revealed by the airline for the six months to the end of December in its latest financial results. The firm blamed tough competition in both international and domestic operations for its financial difficulties in recent years.
The share price of Qantas closed at just 1.1550 on the Australian stock exchange after losing 9.06 per cent of its value today, a fall of 0.1150 points.
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