Qantas has denied suggestions that it will reduce flights between Australia and London in an effort to claw back the airline's dramatic losses, which are expected to be as high as $300 million over the July-December 2013 period.
A persistent rumour has Qantas axing the Dubai-London leg of its daily Melbourne-London Airbus A380 service, with passengers from that flight feeding into the London-bound leg of the flagship QF1 service from Sydney or connecting onto Emirates flights to other destinations in the UK or Europe.
However, a statement issued by Qantas this afternoon says that "On the specific rumour that Qantas is looking to reduce its services to London, this is inaccurate."
"There are a series of unsubstantiated and unsourced rumours swirling around ahead of our half year results, ranging from estimates on job losses to route changes" the airline says.
However, it warns of "the need to make tough decisions as part of strengthening our business, which we will outline next Thursday."
That Thursday, February 27, is when Qantas will reports its financial results for the July-December 2013 period and set out some of the measures in its aggressive cost-cutting campaign to recoup $2 billion over three years.
The airline has already flagged job cuts of at least 1,000 across 2014 but it's widely expected the number of positions to be axed will exceed this.
Nothing ruled out?
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce previously declared "all options are on the table" and the airline is expected to announce a sale of up to 49% of its frequent flyer scheme, which could yield between $1.3 billion and $1.6 billion.
Selling the long-term lease on the dedicated Qantas terminals at Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth airports back to the airport could raise another $800 million-$1 billion, suggest analysts.
Other possibilities include closing less-profitable routes, especially those operated by the fuel-thirsty Boeing 747s such as Sydney-Johannesburg.
Earlier today Qantas announced it would abandon its alliance with South African Airways under which the airlines share flights between Australia and Johannesburg.
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