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April 14, 2009 – 9:32AM

Qantas will scrap up to 1750 jobs, including 500 management positions and has forecast a massive drop in its profit expectations, the airline revealed this morning.

Qantas also said it would sell about 10 aircraft and will cut freight capacity both internationally and domestically.

“Unfortunately, responding rapidly to declining economic conditions is going to have a direct impact on our staff. We employ over 34,000 people and we are striving to protect as many of their jobs as possible, but the capacity reductions to protect the long-term viability of the overall Qantas Group mean that up to 1250 equivalent full-time positions will be affected in addition to the management reductions being made,” said the airline’s chief executive, Alan Joyce.

Qantas also slashed its full year pre-tax profit outlook to between $100 million and $200 million, down from its previous forecast of $500 million.

“Qantas today announced that, due to a rapid and significant deterioration of trading conditions in the past few weeks, it is revising its 2008-2009 full year profit before tax outlook downwards from around $500 million to between $100 million and $200 million,” Qantas said in a statement.

The carrier said the profit forecast range is subject to no further changes in market conditions, fuel prices, and volatility in hedge accounting results.

The company will also reduce “flying capacity” by 5% after the company said it had experienced a sharp fall in trade conditions in the past few weeks.

BusinessDay, with AAP

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