Qantas (ASX:QAN) share price wobbles as rival questions staff layoffs

Rex’s deputy chair says Qantas moved too soon when it stood down 2,500 staff on Tuesday

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The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price is hitting some turbulence today. This comes after the airline’s competition questioned its decision to stand down 2,500 crew.

The deputy chair of Regional Express Holdings Ltd (ASX: REX) has reportedly said Qantas made the decision prematurely.

Despite the reports, the Qantas share price was enjoying early gains today, up 0.11% to $4.51. However, at the time of writing, the shares have retreated and are swapping hands for $4.48, a fall of 0.44% on their previous close.

Let’s take a closer look at today’s news of Qantas.

Qantas accused of moving too soon

The Qantas share price is jittery today after the company’s decision to stand down frontline Qantas and Jetstar crew was questioned.

Today, The Age reported Rex’s deputy chair John Sharp was surprised to see Qantas stand down the staff before the federal government released details of its airline support package.

The Retaining Domestic Airline Capability scheme is a support package given to airlines by the federal government. It will see airlines handed $750 per week for at least half of its frontline staff if they can prove they’ve seen a 30% downturn in revenue.

The scheme was announced on Monday. However, Qantas was reportedly unaware of the scheme’s details when it stood down the 2,500 staff members on Tuesday morning.

The Qantas share price suffered as a result of the stand downs. It fell 1.5% over the course of Tuesday.

The Age quoted Sharp as saying:

None of us had yet got the full details of how the package would work and I would have thought it would be more appropriate to wait until we got those details before making any significant decisions.

According to Sharp, Rex hasn’t stood down any staff during the recent lockdowns.

Qantas share price snapshot

It’s been a bad week for the Qantas share price and it has added to the airline’s poor recent performance.

Qantas shares are currently trading for 8% less than they were at the start of 2021. However, they’ve gained 38% since this time last year.

The airline has a market capitalisation of around $8.4 billion, with approximately 1.8 billion shares outstanding.

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