Australian airline Qantas Group has unveiled plans to outsource its ground handing operations in the country as it braces for a A$10bn drop in revenue amid the Covid-19 crisis.

The move, if implemented, will impact up to 2,500 jobs.

The company plans to outsource its ground handling operations at ten airports where it provides in-house services. The step will cut around 2,000 jobs, including some management roles.

In addition, Qantas intends to outsource its bus services at Sydney Airport, a move that will lay-off 50 employees.

The airline will conduct two separate reviews on these two proposals. It is expected to be completed in the next few months.

Jetstar Airways, Qantas Group’s budget airline, will also outsource ground handling services at six airports, cutting around 370 jobs. The move is subject to union consultation.

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Qantas and Jetstar will discuss the plans with the employees and unions.

Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David said: “Outsourcing this work to specialist ground handlers would save an estimated A$100m in operating costs each year.

“Today’s announcement will be very tough for our hard-working teams, most of whom have already been stood down for months without work. This obviously adds to the uncertainty but this is the unfortunate reality of what Covid-19 has done to our industry.”

The airline has already announced plans to cut its work force by at least 6,000 employees as part of restructuring the business.

It has reduced its planned capital investment and deferred aircraft orders to rein in expenditure.