Qantas, Australia's biggest airline, announced yesterday it will cut between 1,500 and 2,000 jobs -- about 6 percent of its staff -- blaming the impact of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks for the decision.
Chief Executive Geoff Dixon said the airline also would pare back its international flight schedule -- including ending all flights to New York -- because of sliding demand since the attacks on New York and Washington.
The airline has cut its international flights by about 11 percent since Sept. 11. The Sydney-based carrier also said it will retire its fleet of five Boeing 747-200 aircraft beginning in April. The aircraft had been scheduled to be phased out from late 2003.
Qantas said it will also make "extensive internal changes" by moving a largenumber of staff from its international operation to its domestic operations.
In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Qantas said all flights to New York will be cut from Nov. 25, and flights would be reduced to Rome, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Manila and Buenos Aires.
Dixon said the moves were designed to "bolster decisions made last month to respond to the international aviation downturn resulting from the terrorist attack, to lower its cost base and to put it in a strong position to take advantage of the inevitable recovery of the international aviation market."
Qantas already is seeking a staff wage freeze for 12 to 18 months and substantial changes to domestic operations. Unions have threatened strike action over the proposed wage freeze.
Dixon said bookings from Japan are down 25 percent, while bookings from the UK have slumped 23 percent.
SECRET OUT: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung yesterday accidentally revealed that the infections occurred at the ministry’s Taoyuan General Hospital The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported the fifth COVID-19 case in a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, where four other medical workers were confirmed to have been infected over the past week. The latest case is a nurse who had tested negative on Tuesday last week, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news conference. However, on Thursday, she developed symptoms, such as nasal congestion and a cough, and a second test yesterday found that she was infected, Chen said. She is the head nurse of a ward where two
VIGILANCE: While two of the cases are family members of a nurse, there is no sign of community spread and the source of infection is identifiable, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four new domestic COVID-19 cases associated with a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital. Since the first case was identified on Tuesday last week, five healthcare workers — two doctors and three nurses — at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taoyuan General Hospital have tested positive for the virus. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that two of the four new cases are the husband and daughter of a nurse (case No. 863) who had earlier been confirmed to have COVID-19. The husband (case No. 864)
PILLARS OF DEMOCRACY: US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft posted online after the virtual meeting that Taiwan should be able to share its successes in global venues President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft yesterday held a virtual meeting, during which Tsai described Taiwan as a “force for good” that deserves a place on the world stage, while Craft reaffirmed Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. The virtual talk was held at about 11am, after Craft’s trip to Taiwan was abruptly canceled. She had been scheduled to meet with Tsai in person at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday morning as part of a three-day visit to Taiwan. On Tuesday, the US Department of State canceled all of its planned trips, citing a need
‘CONTAINED’: The CECC is not considering locking down the hospital where the infections were detected, as their source has been found, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported one new domestic COVID-19 case, a doctor at a hospital in northern Taiwan where three other medical workers were confirmed to have the disease over the past week. The new case — No. 856 — is a doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient together with case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Case No. 838, confirmed as a locally infected COVID-19 case on Tuesday, was the first case in the hospital cluster, and later infected his partner, who is a nurse at the same