Senior executives at Qantas have been asked to leave their high-flying roles for three months and carry luggage instead as the airline struggles with staff shortages.
Qantas chief operating officer Colin Hughes wrote to managers asking for 100 volunteers to do shift work at Sydney and Melbourne airports.
The tasks include loading and unloading luggage, as well as driving the vehicles that take luggage to planes and between terminals.
The move highlights the difficulty Qantas faces in hiring enough staff to cope with a surge in travel after it sacked more than 1,600 baggage handlers during the pandemic.
Australia’s national airline canceled more than 8 percent of its services in June, making it the country’s least reliable airline.
It came as the boss of US low-cost airline JetBlue said he had to overhire staff because of the pace at which people were leaving the industry.
SoftBank crashes to record losses as tech rout hits Vision Fund
SoftBank has crashed to a record loss of ¥3.16 trillion (£19bn) as a sell-off in global technology stocks continued to hammer its Vision Fund.
The vision fund posted a loss of 2.33 trillion yen in the three months to the end of June – eclipsing the record loss in the previous quarter. That’s a sharp reversal from the ¥235.6 billion profit in the same quarter a year ago.
SoftBank has been hit by the slide in global markets, which has hit its investments in companies such as Uber. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 22 percent during the quarter, capping its worst performance since the 2008 financial crisis.
Jaguar Land Rover owner buys Ford factory in India
The Indian carmaker behind Jaguar Land Rover has struck a deal to buy a Ford factory in Gujarat for 7.26 billion rupees (£75m).
The agreement between Tata’s electric car division and the American company’s Indian division covers land, machinery and all “qualified employees”.
Ford halted production in India last year after struggling for more than two decades to generate profits there.
The move comes as Tata tries to ramp up car production to meet rising demand. It said annual production at the Sanand plant would initially give it new capacity of 300,000 vehicles a year, which could be increased to 420,000.
FTSE 100 opens higher
The FTSE 100 has started the week on a high, even as investors weigh the latest outlook for monetary tightening and a looming economic slowdown.
The blue-chip index increased by 0.6pc to 7,484 points.
UK’s Covid venture capital fund ‘mainly backed zombie companies’
The UK’s Covid venture capital fund invested heavily in so-called zombie companies, leaving it with a “significant tail of dormant companies”.
The Future Fund, a £1.1bn portfolio set up by then chancellor Rishi Sunak and managed by the British Business Bank, invested in almost 1,200 mainly early-stage companies at the height of the pandemic.
But minutes of a BBB audit committee meeting last summer, seen by the Financial Times, reveal comments by non-executive director Dharmash Mistry that “most of the companies in the portfolio had . . . limited chance of growth to a sufficient scale for success” and would therefore become “zombie businesses”.
Minutes from another meeting this year included a warning from Mr Mistry that the portfolio was “likely” to have “a significant tail of dormant companies and it would be helpful if this could be signaled in advance to manage expectations”.
Joules in talks about the next share sale
Struggling high street retailer Joules has confirmed it is in talks to sell a stake to Next in a move that could raise around £15m.
Joules said it was also in discussions to join Next’s online platform to support its “long-term growth plans”.
It follows reports that the high-end brand was in talks to sell a 25pc stake to its bigger rival. Joules did not confirm the size of the potential stake, but said Next would become a “strategic minority shareholder”.
Joules has had a miserable year so far, as a series of profit warnings triggered an 80pc drop in its share price.
The company said last month it had called in advisers KPMG to look at strengthening its finances as high costs and declining consumer confidence hit the group’s bottom line.
Qantas bosses asked to carry baggage
The extent of the shortage of staff in the aviation sector has been revealed after an airline asked its managers to carry luggage.
Qantas has written to head office bosses looking for 100 volunteers to leave their office jobs for three months and handle bags instead.
They are asked to load and unload luggage, as well as drive vehicles that transport luggage between planes and terminals. Applicants must be able to move suitcases weighing as much as 32 kg.
Meanwhile, the boss of JetBlue has said the US low-cost airline is having to over-employ staff because of the pace at which people are leaving the industry.
It comes as the sector struggles with widespread staff shortages as companies struggle to cope with a sharp upswing in demand following the pandemic.
5 things to start the day
1) Britain really isn’t working – and the collapsing NHS is to blame – Economic inactivity has increased in the UK despite falls in most of the developed world
2) Generation rent ‘failed by the government on housing’ – The Redrow boss warns after Truss and Sunak have promised to drop housing targets
3) There is a shortage of vegetables as Europe battles the heat wave – Lack of water and shipping chaos means buyers will have less choice
4) Why Europe is suffering from a worse inflationary crisis than the UK – Great Britain suffers from less inflation than the average in the EU nation
5) Amazon workers plan wave of strikes as pay row escalates – The company was hit by spontaneous strikes last week
What happened overnight
Shares fell in Hong Kong this morning, with the Hang Seng index down 0.7pc.
The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.4pc and the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange also fell 0.4pc.
Tokyo shares traded within a narrow range. The benchmark Nikkei 225 opened lower, but then rose 0.2pc. The broader Topix index trimmed losses and was at 0.06pc.
Company: Clarkson, PageGroup (interim results)