End of the runway for Southern Australia


Australian BAe 146 operator Southern Australia is no more. As part of an effort to rationalize its regional subsidiaries, Qantas has transferred the airline’s three 146s to National Jet Systems, where they will continue to operate under the QantasLink brand, while the Dash 8s were transferred to Eastern. 146s VH-YAD and YAE operated their last services for Southern on 26 October, and then transferred to NJS. VH-YAF had transferred earlier in the week. Most of Former Southern staff are extremely bitter at the way Qantas has handled the situation. Southern’s 146 flight crews are now flying 146s for NJS, on a 12-month secondment, following which they will be forced to choose between being made redundant or retraining on the Dash 8s, with a substantial pay cut. Most flight attendants have transferred to Qantas mainline, while the administrative and operational staff have been laid off, although some found positions with Qantas. Of the 200-odd people once employed by Southern only about 30 engineering staff remain, as a maintenance provider to Eastern, Sunstate, and NJS.

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