world of aviation logo

Cobham expects job losses after losing Qantas 717 heavy maintenance work

written by WOFA | April 13, 2015

Cobham operates the Boeing 717 for Qantas. (Seth Jaworski)

Cobham Aviation Services says it expects to suffer some job losses from Qantas’s decision to bring the heavy maintenance of its Boeing 717 fleet in-house.

Qantas said on Friday it was establishing a heavy maintenance base for its 18 717s in Canberra, which was due to open in October.

That work is currently done by Cobham in Adelaide. The company also refurbished five Qantas 717s with a new business class cabin and conducts line maintenance on the aircraft at various ports around Australia.

In a statement, Cobham said it expected to make a “small number of staff redundant” in Adelaide as a result of losing the heavy maintenance work, without specifying the number of jobs that would be lost.

However, the company stressed there was no change to Cobham’s existing contract for other work with Qantas, which in addition to line maintenance also included operating the aircraft on behalf of Qantas and supplying flightcrew and cabin crew. The company has worked with Qantas for about 20 years.

“This decision does not impact the broader contract held by Cobham to operate and support the Qantaslink fleet of Boeing 717 aircraft,” Cobham Aviation Services president Peter Nottage said in a statement.

“We are working with our staff to offer them support and to place as many as possible into positions elsewhere within the company.”



  • David


    Now all they have to do is take the planes from them too!

  • Dane


    Contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on any more, unfortunately. Higher management must be seeing the dollar signs without realising this isn’t a victimless decision.

  • Martin


    Seems it takes several years of outsourcing for companies (or governments for that matter) to realise outsourcing isn’t necessarily always the better (or more economical) solution and then the pendulum swings the other way again. From what I have read in the past, QANTAS seems to have had a well developed maintenance organisation years ago that could fairly much look after the entire fleet. But then various maintenance activities seemed to have been sent offshore and elsewhere. Looks like they might now be in a rebuild phase for their engineering department – but the accountants probably expect the greater workload will be achieved by the same base of engineering staff they have now, just de-deployed!?

    Not good for Cobham and their employees of course, but if they are good and efficient at what they do, they will secure work from elsewhere.

    Good luck to all concerned.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year