Almost half of Virgin Australia’s 9000-strong workforce could be sacked under its new owners Bain Capital.
Almost half of Virgin Australia’s 9000-strong workforce could be sacked under its new owners Bain Capital.

4000 Virgin jobs tipped to be axed

ALMOST half of Virgin Australia's 9000-strong workforce could be axed as new owner Bain Capital trims the fleet to create a smaller domestic carrier.

Up to 4000 jobs are tipped to go from the Queensland airline in another significant blow to the nation's aviation sector.

Long-haul crew and pilots, non-operational staff and workers at the now defunct TigerAir are likely to face the axe.

Since being named as Virgin's new owner one week ago Bain Capital executives have been locked down with Virgin Australia management.

Details about the fate of 4000 workers and the airline's capacity are tipped to be announced in the next fortnight.

Virgin Australia is tipped to return to its Virgin Blue routes. Picture: Jay Cronan
Virgin Australia is tipped to return to its Virgin Blue routes. Picture: Jay Cronan

The Queensland Government, which will invest up to $200 million in Virgin, has come under pressure to reveal the details of the deal and whether Queensland workers would be protected if thousands of jobs are cut.

It is understood the Queensland Investment Corporation, acting for the State Government, is still negotiating the investment terms with Bain Capital.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington called for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to guarantee all Queensland workers keep their jobs and existing regional routes continue.

"Writing a cheque for $200 million and getting job cuts and flights scrapped in return would be economic incompetence," she said.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk must now use her strategic equity stake in the carrier to set the terms for no Queensland-based job losses."

Ms Frecklington said the $200 million should have been spent marketing Queensland.

 

The loss of 4000 Virgin Australia jobs would almost halve its 9000-strong workforce - of which 4400 remain stood down.

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick labelled Ms Frecklington's demands as "ridiculous and dishonest", but declined to disclose details of the investment.

"Our government makes no apologies for acting to save as many Queensland jobs as possible, for ensuring Virgin Australia remains headquartered in Queensland, and for fighting to see regional communities benefit from more flights to regional Queensland," he said.

Bain Capital declined to comment.

The American investment giant is due to be formally appointed as the new owner of Virgin at a meeting of creditors in August.

This week Virgin Australia launched its 'comeback' sale, which saw 125,000 cheap fares on offer.

The carrier will restart flying to Maroochydore, Mount Isa, Hamilton Island and Proserpine by August 4 in a major boost to the regions' tourism industries.

Originally published as 4000 Virgin jobs tipped to be axed


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