THE sacking of more than 100 workers at Qantas' Avalon Airport maintenance facility will hit the western suburbs the hardest, according to a Wyndham lobby group.
On Monday, Qantas announced 113 job cuts at Avalon, with a further 442 lost at its Tullamarine heavy maintenance centre.
The retirement of five 747 aircraft this year was blamed for the Avalon losses. The airline said further changes were expected as the business continued to modernise.
The maintenance facility employs about 660 people, 160 of them from Wyndham.
Committee for Wyndham executive director Nik Tsardakis said the job losses would have most impact in the western suburbs because of the high proportion of technicians and trades workers.
"It is disappointing when efforts to move the region more firmly into the next economy with more local employment receives such a setback. It shows how vulnerable we are to globalisation and the shift of growth up the value chain."
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the cuts were necessary to ensure the viability and success of the airline.
But Australian Workers Union state branch secretary Cesar Melhem said the decision would likely lead to further job losses.
"We have no guarantees from Qantas about how they will ensure the long-term viability of aircraft maintenance in this country."
Opposition employment spokesman and Tarneit MP Tim Pallas criticised the state government for lacking the leadership to help safeguard the aviation industry.
Premier Ted Baillieu said the government was pleased the airline would continue heavy maintenance operations at Avalon and would liaise with Qantas to seek additional work for
Qantas will offer staff the chance to relocate to Brisbane or the chance to redeploy to other
roles. It will also offer a program of voluntary redundancies.
-Laura Little and Nick Toscano