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Australias struggling Qantas may cut as many as 5,000 jobs: report

SYDNEY--Struggling Australian carrier Qantas on Tuesday said it was committed to slashing costs by AU$2 billion (US$1.8 billion) but refused to confirm or deny a report that it will axe 5,000 jobs.

The airline has been battling record fuel costs and fierce competition from subsidized rivals and in December said 1,000 jobs would go while warning it faced a half-year loss of up to AU$300 million.

Its interim result is due on Thursday and the Sydney Daily Telegraph, citing a Qantas source, said the job losses would be much worse as the airline restructures its finances to convince the government it deserves a debt guarantee.

As well as sacking 5,000 staff, the newspaper said Qantas may sell some of its terminals, while The Australian reported it would accelerate the retirement of older planes and defer new orders.

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