Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) has announced it is planning redundancies as part of a head office restructuring, due to a slow-down in the Australian economy.

This news comes hot on the heels of a decision by competitor Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane Int'l) earlier this week to cut its domestic capacity by a further 2%, as well as its Melbourne Tullamarine to Hong Kong Int'l route, as it looks to reduce its losses.

Qantas staff were reportedly told last week of the job cuts, with most of the roles expected to be affected in middle management, however, the carrier has not revealed a specific number.

There have been reports some 1,200 jobs could be cut, but when speaking to news.com.au, a Qantas spokesman said that was not accurate.

“We recently confirmed that our group executive committee would reduce by one and there would be consolidation of some corporate roles where it made sense to do so, but the figures being quoted are wrong,” the spokesman said.

“To be clear about this, we are still growing in cabin crew, in pilots, in airport staff. We have a new aircraft arriving next week."

“In a business the size of Qantas, there is often change occurring.”

On the restructuring, Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said that the move would reduce complexity and improve efficiency in the business.

The announcement follows a 1Q FY20 trading update, in which Joyce flagged a “strong focus on cost reduction” given the “slower revenue environment.”

The Qantas Group continued to deliver revenue growth in 1Q FY20, up 1.8% to a record AUD4.56 billion (USD3.15 billion) compared with AUD4.49 billion (USD3.10 billion) in the prior corresponding period. The home market remains sluggish, as group domestic unit revenue fell by 0.9%. Corporate travel demand was flat and small business travel demand growth slowed – but Qantas’ market share in both these segments continued to increase. Premium leisure demand remained steady.

The job cuts come during a sticky period for Joyce. In September, it was announced that the Qantas boss was the top paid Australian CEO, earning AUD23.88 million (USD16.5 million).