Qantas Airways Ltd. said Wednesday it is ending its decades-long sponsorship of Rugby Australia at the end of this year, after the coronavirus pandemic hit its finances hard and made spending cuts necessary.
The end to the sponsorship means the iconic logo of Australia's flagship carrier will disappear from the Wallabies jersey in a little over three months' time.
Qantas has provided Rugby Australia with assistance worth AU$5 million ($3.56 million) a year, according to local media reports. But the pandemic has forced the airline to cut thousands of jobs and take other restructuring measures.
"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," Qantas's chief customer officer, Stephanie Tully, said in a statement.
The airline will continue its association with the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics committee, and support athletes who will take part in the Tokyo Olympics next year.
It will also continue its association with Cricket Australia and the Football Federation of Australia "on an in-kind basis" over the next year, the statement said.
© Kyodo News International, Inc., source Newswire