Reports that Qantas may sack 5000 workers has heightened speculation about what assistance the federal government may give the airline.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has declined to speculate about what assistance the federal government might give Qantas, amid reports the ailing airline could sack 5000 workers.
Qantas is refusing to confirm or deny it will axe the jobs as part of its efforts find $2 billion in savings.
The airline is expected to unveil a half-year loss of up to $300 million on Thursday.
The government is considering support for the national carrier, such as a debt guarantee, after the airline complained the Qantas Sale Act was hampering its efforts to compete against the likes of Virgin.
Asked to respond to the speculation about job losses, Senator Cormann repeated the government’s view that the Sale Act restricting foreign ownership should be amended.
“Beyond that we are currently considering some proposals that were put before us by Qantas,” he told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
“When we are in a position to make an announcement we will make an announcement.”
The airline reportedly has been negotiating to sell the long-term lease for its Melbourne Airport terminal.
Labor MP Kelvin Thomson said job losses at Qantas would be concerning after those announced by Toyota and Alcoa.
However, he dismissed suggestions that Labor should drop its opposition to changing the Qantas Sale Act.
“Changing the Qantas Sale Act … means selling Qantas to a foreign corporation. Let’s not mince words, that’s what it is,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“If you sell Qantas to a foreign corporation you essentially lose it and lose all control over it. It is gone.”