Qantas Freight to ditch local Qantas Courier

Freight arm to gain tech boost in restructure as it faces reduced capacity, consolidation and a weak global cargo market

Qantas Freight to ditch local Qantas Courier
Qantas is to invest in freight operations

Qantas will lose Qantas Courier in Australia, one B747 freighter aircraft and will bolster supply chain and terminal technology for Qantas Freight as part of its structural reorganisation.

A Qantas spokeswoman revealed Qantas will close the Australian operations of its Qantas Courier business, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas Freight.

"In recent years, Qantas Freight has narrowed its strategy from being a road express and door-to-door air express freight provider to focus solely on airport-to-airport air freight services," she says.

"Qantas Courier has not been profitable for several years and represents 1 per cent of revenue for Qantas Freight in FY13.

"Qantas Freight’s international and domestic air freight business is not impacted by this decision.

"The business will continue operating in New Zealand.

"There are 36 employees impacted who will be provided redundancy packages."

Apart from that, she was unable give any more clarification on how the shedding of 5,000 jobs across the group would affect its freight arm.

The details came as the group’s first-half results showed that Qantas Freight reported underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $11 million, down from $22 million in the previous first half, due to reduced capacity, consolidation and a weak global cargo market.

Net freight revenue was $568 million, up from the previous first half’s $531 million.

"This was driven by the sale of StarTrack [Express] and the acquisition of Australian air Express during the first half of financial year 2012/2013 together with an eight per cent reduction in international freight capacity and challenging air freight markets," Qantas says.

"The integration of Australian air Express is now complete, delivering full run-rate synergy benefits from the second half of financial year2013/2014 and creating Australia’s leading independent air freight provider.

"The consolidation of Australian air Express contributed to the increase in revenue in the period."

It also notes the impact of "changes in the Qantas International network, increased market capacity and weaker market conditions".

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