‘We need your help’: What’s dragging on the Qantas share price today?

The flying kangaroo is facing ground staff shortages as travel numbers rebound quickly.

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Key points

  • Qantas share price slides 4% today
  • Most ASX travel shares are in the red today, following overnight falls amongst US airlines
  • Qantas is asking front office staff to assist overstretched ground handling crews

The Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX: QAN) share price is hitting some turbulence today, down 4.0%.

Qantas shares closed yesterday at $5.43 and are currently trading for $5.21.

So, what’s going on?

Airports’ peak contingency plans engaged

The Qantas share price isn’t the only one falling today.

In afternoon trade the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is down 0.9%. Meanwhile, fellow ASX 200 travel share Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) is down 5.3%, while Webjet Ltd (ASX: WEB) has lost 1.6%.

The Australian travel sector looks to be following the lead of US markets. Yesterday (overnight Aussie time), American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ: AAL) fell 3.2%, while United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: UAL) tumbled 4.0%.

The Qantas share price is also slipping amid news that management has asked front office staff from the Sydney headquarters to roll up their sleeves and pitch in to help its overworked ground handling crews.

With a strong rebound in domestic travel numbers and international travel also beginning to tick higher, the airline is finding itself short-staffed in the wake of its pandemic workforce reductions.

As Bloomberg reports, an internal email sent by Qantas’ budget airline division, Jetstar, said, “We need your help,” adding that the request was part of its Airports Peak Contingency Plan.

According to the email, the airline is facing the most labour shortages in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. But office workers volunteering to help out could find themselves in the other airports as well to assist with finding lost luggage or help laggards get through the lengthy security lines to make their flights.

Qantas issued a similar request to its front office staff over the Easter holidays as travel numbers peaked.

Qantas share price snapshot

Despite today’s sharp fall, the Qantas share price remains up 1.2% in 2022.

Over the past 12 months, Qantas shares have gained 8.3%, well outpacing the 3.0% one-year loss posted by the ASX 200.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Flight Centre Travel Group Limited and Webjet Ltd. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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