Own Qantas shares? Here's how the ASX 200 airline plans to grow

Qantas shares are in focus this morning as the ASX 200 airline announces some big 10-year growth plans.

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Key points

  • Qantas shares have gained 28% over the past year amid resurgent travel demand
  • The ASX 200 airline plans to create more than 8,500 new high-skill jobs over the next 10 years
  • The company is establishing the Qantas Group Engineering Academy in Australia to train as many as 300 engineers a year

Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX: QAN) shares are up 0.9% in morning trade on Friday.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) airline stock closed yesterday trading for $6.53 per share. Shares are currently trading for $6.59 apiece.

That's today's price action for you.

Now, here's how Qantas plans to grow its share of the global air travel market.

What are the airline's growth plans?

If you own Qantas shares, you'll be helping fund a big growth push in the ASX 200 airline's staffing as post-pandemic travel demand surges.

The company reported it intends to create more than 8,500 new high-skill jobs over the next 10 years. This comes as the airline acquires new aircraft to meet continued expected growth in long-term demand.

The new jobs will include pilots, engineers, cabin crew and airport staff.

All told, Qantas expects to hire more than 30,000 frontline people by 2033, which includes replacing workers who retire or leave for other reasons.

The ASX 200 airline currently employs some 23,500 people and expects that will grow to 32,000 over the next decade.

To help ensure it has enough workers with the needed engineering skills, Qantas announced it will establish the Qantas Group Engineering Academy in Australia. The academy can train as many as 300 engineers a year.

"We order aircraft up to 10 years in advance, so we need to think similarly long-term about the people and skills we need to operate them," Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.

Joyce added:

In the near term, we're gearing up to meet the growth in all of the markets we serve. We have more aircraft arriving every month, and that means we need more pilots, engineers, cabin crew and others.

Over the next 18 months, we expect to create more than 2,000 new jobs plus replacing natural attrition.

 "Wherever you look there is a skills gap, and according to the OECD, Australia has the second highest labour supply shortage," Brendan O'Connor, minster for skills and training, said.

"Australia needs thousands of new workers and engineers to enter the aviation industry to ensure secure jobs and a thriving sector," O'Connor added. "And we welcome this investment by Qantas to help develop these future skills needs."

How have Qantas shares been performing?

As you can see in the chart below, Qantas shares have been flying higher over the past 12 months, up 28%.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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 no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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