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Qantas calls on senior execs to take on grand handling roles

The Aussie flag carrier has been hit hard by staff shortages and is now calling on its senior executives and manages to work as ground handlers. 


According to a note to staff, the airline is looking to recruit at least 100 managers to join a new contingency program that would have them working as ground handlers up to five days a week for three months, the Australian reported. 



“During your time in the contingency program, you’ll be an embedded resource within the ground handling partners,” the airline’s chief operating officer Colin Hughes wrote.


“This means you’ll receive a roster, be scheduled to operate and be supervised and managed in the live operations by our grand handling partners.”


Hughes made clear that there is “no expectation” that those who opt into these roles will have to do them “on top” of their full time positions. 


“It’s our singular company focus to support our teams to get our operation back to where it should be and provide our passengers the experience they expect from the airline,” Hughes wrote. 


While it is not uncommon for the airline’s managers to work at airports during peak periods, this more formalised approach highlights the staffing issues facing Qantas. 


“We’ve been clear that our operational performance has not been meeting our customers’ expectations or the standards that we expect of ourselves,” a Qantas spokesperson told The Australian.


“While we manage the impacts of a record flu season and ongoing Covid cases coupled with the tightest labour market in decades, we’re continuing that contingency planning across our airport operations for the next three months.” 


Those who do opt in to the program will be sorting and scanning bags and driving tugs.

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Published: 8 August 2022

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