• Qantas received 25,000 applications for 2,500 recently advertised jobs, its CEO told CNBC. 
  • According to Alan Joyce, Qantas is one of the best employers in Australia.
  • Joyce also highlighted the role that staff sickness had played in the carrier's operational issues.

Qantas received 25,000 job applications for 2,500 recently advertised roles, its CEO Alan Joyce told CNBC's Squawk Box Asia program on Thursday. 

According to Joyce, Qantas "has a halo as one of the best employers in Australia."

Joyce told CNBC that staff absences related to Covid-19 were behind Qantas' operational problems, particularly on regional routes, which he said can be "a lot more complicated" than international routes.

Qantas let go 9,000 of its 30,000 employees during the pandemic, the airline told CNBC. It's since managed to replace nearly a third of them, Qantas told the outlet. That number includes 1,500 hired since April, Joyce told customers on Sunday in a video message apologizing for the airline's performance

"With some aircraft doing eight sectors a day, when you get a problem in the morning with somebody not turning up that impacts all eight sectors during the day," he added.

Joyce previously said Sunday that the airline had to deal with a 50% rise in sick leave this summer. 

The airline has been repositioning staff to cope with the shortfall. Around 200 of the airline's office staff have been working in airports since Easter, the airline previously told Insider. On August 8, the airline asked for 100 more volunteers to step in.

Qantas did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Like airlines globally, Qantas has struggled to cope with the rebound in travel demand, leading to mass cancellations, flight delays, and mishandled baggage

Airlines in Australia and Asia have felt a longer-lasting impact of the pandemic due to strict travel restrictions imposed by governments, which required passengers and crew members to isolate. Australia reopened its borders to vaccinated foreign visitors in February 2022.

On Wednesday, Qantas Group, which also owns the budget carrier Jetstar, announced it made an annual pre-tax loss of 1.19 billion Australian dollars ($830 million) — its third consecutive year of losses. 

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