Australia's government is expected to come to the aid of Qantas, but what form that assistance takes may depend on the scale of the woes the struggling flag carrier reveals in its earnings this week.
Qantas has warned that it will unveil a first-half loss of up to A$300 million ($270 million) when it reports earnings this Thursday, while Australian media on Tuesday reported that the airline was planning to cut up to 5,000 jobs and sell off some of its assets.
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"How bad are things at Qantas? That's what this Thursday will bring and then you'll have a really clear picture of what the Australian government will do and whether more drastic measures are needed," said Evan Lucas, a market strategist at trading firm IG, in Melbourne.
Australia's government said on Tuesday it was looking at ways to help Qantas and analysts say it has three options: An outright bailout, repealing the Qantas Sales Act which essentially prohibits foreign ownership of the airline and a state-backed loan.
The government has expressed reluctance to offer cash handouts to struggling corporates, while the Labor Party and Green Party, which hold the balance of power in the Senate, Australia's upper house of parliament, have said they would block any legislation that makes changes to the Qantas Sales Act.
That leaves a state debt guarantee, which analysts say is the most likely outcome.