Qantas managers and executives have been asked to help out with baggage handling due to staff shortages
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The airline’s Chief Operating Officer, Colin Hughes, sent an internal memo revealing that the company was recruiting at least 100 volunteers to temporarily step from their roles for three months to help with baggage, according to The Guardian.
“People who respond to the EOI will be trained and rostered into the ramp environment at Sydney and Melbourne airports,” Hughes wrote.
“These people will support our ground handling partners, who are managing the Qantas operation, over a three-month period from mid-August.”
He added: “There is no expectation that you will opt into this role on top of your full-time position.”
The memo comes barely a month after Qantas fell out of the top five global ranking of the best airlines after countless customer complaints of delayed flights and missing baggage.
While appearing on Sydney radio 2GB, Qantas domestic and international CEO, Andrew David, apologised to frustrated customers.
"My apology to all your listeners," he said.
"We are the national carrier, people have high expectations of us, we have high expectations of ourselves and clearly over the last few months we have not been delivering what we did pre-Covid."
He added: "We have reduced some of our flying this month and we're planning to do the same next month, recognising the operation pressures we have."
David also disclosed that Qantas had recruited more than 1,000 new employees in 2022 as more people began to travel internationally.
While the labour shortages are somewhat due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Smart Company reports that the airline also sacked 6,000 staff members in 2020.
Shortly after the mass firing, Qantas boss Alan Joyce issued a statement outlining that the airline would feel the pandemic's effects for many years to come, according to ABC News.
"Right now all airlines are in the middle of the biggest crisis our industry has ever faced," he said.
"Airline revenues have collapsed, entire fleets have been grounded. And the world's biggest carriers are taking extreme action just to survive."
But with the airline currently facing a rise in jet fuel prices as the demand for international travel soars, things may only worsen before they get better.