Qantas have announced that they will end their 30-year sponsorship of Australian rugby due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The airline cut 6,000 staff in June and announced in August it had suffered a £1.1 billion statutory loss in the 2020 Australian financial year, adding in a statement issued with Rugby Australia (RA) the current cash cost of its sponsorships “has to be zero”.
Qantas chief customer officer Stephanie Tully said: “In an environment where thousands of our people have lost jobs and thousands more are stood down while they wait for flying to restart, we can’t maintain these sponsorships in the way we have in the past.”
The loss of its principal sponsor will be another significant blow to RA, which is already without a TV rights deal beyond 2020.
Qantas said it was also withdrawing financial assistance from Cricket Australia, the Football Federation of Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia.
The organisations, however, will continue to be able to access support in the form of commercial flights, Qantas marketing and airport lounges for events.
Australia begin their international season on October 11 with their first of two Bledisloe Cup Tests against New Zealand.
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