SYDNEY (Reuters) – Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX) said on Tuesday it planned to cut up to 2,500 jobs by outsourcing its Australian ground handling operations to lower costs as it braces for a A$10 billion ($7.17 billion) hit to revenue due to the pandemic this financial year.

The expected job cuts are on top of 6,000 across its workforce announced in June, which would take the total job losses to nearly 30% of its pre-pandemic roles.

Qantas Domestic Chief Executive Officer Andrew David said outsourcing the ground handling jobs would save an estimated A$100 million a year in operating costs.

It would also allow the airline to avoid investing A$100 million in equipment like tugs and bag loaders over the next five years, Jetstar Chief Executive Gareth Evans said.

Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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