Qantas will slash commissions paid to travel agents on international ticket sales as part of wide-ranging new cost-cutting measures to mitigate huge Covid losses.
The Australian carrier will reduce front-end agent commissions from 5% to just 1%, effective from July 2022 "giving time for the industry to adapt". It is forecasting an annual pre-tax loss of AUS $2 billion (£1.1 billion).
"Travel agents remain an important partner, and Qantas will work with them on broader revenue opportunities, particularly through technology," said the carrier on Thursday (20 May).
The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (Afta) said it was disappointed by the move, stressing it made "strong representations" to Qantas on the need to maintain the status quo given agents selling Qantas primarily made money on its international services.
Other cost-saving plans include a two-year wage freeze and offering voluntary redundancy to international cabin crew, with little prospect of a resumption of international travel to and from Australia until next year.