14 December 2011.  AFR.  Andrew David, CEO Tiger Airways at Melbourne Airport.  Photograph by Arsineh Houspian.  +61401320173.  arsineh@arsineh.com

Former Tiger boss Andrew David will oversee both international and domestic operations for Qantas. Photo: arsineh@arsineh.com

Qantas has begun a management reshuffle that will result in a former Tigerair boss Andrew David being parachuted into a key role running the day-to-day operations of its domestic and international businesses.

So far, those in the most senior rungs at Qantas have held onto their jobs despite a muted investor response to its $2 billion cost-cutting program – including the axing of 5000 jobs – and the airline failing to convince the Abbott government to agree to a debt guarantee or an unsecured $3 billion loan.

But internal documents obtained by Fairfax Media show Qantas' flying operations – the engine of its business – will now report to a single chief operating officer who will oversee both domestic and international operations.

It will result in Qantas Domestic chief operating officer Matt Lee leaving the airline in just over a week.

His counterpart at Qantas International, Peter Wilson, will lose his title but have oversight of the airline's commercial airline licence and help Mr David to move into his new role by the middle of the year.

The collapsing of the two roles into one comes after Qantas shelved on Friday plans to split its international and domestic flying operations into separate units with their own air operator's certificates – or licence to fly.

Qantas insists it will maintain the separate structures but has ''put on hold'' its application to apply for a separate air operator's certificate for the domestic operations as a ''conservative measure to limit the amount of operational change as we move along the transformation process''.

''The work done to date will be saved so that we can pick up where we left off should we decide to go down this path in the future,'' the airline said in the internal email.

But it has raised questions internally about the benefits of the split of the businesses which began almost two years ago under the banner of ''accountability and direction''.

When he unveiled his plans in 2012, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce insisted that the benefits would ''greatly outweigh'' any negatives such as duplication of services.

Despite shelving the plans to continue the splitting of the businesses, Qantas Domestic chief executive Lyell Strambi and his counterpart at Qantas International, Simon Hickey, will remain in their roles.

Qantas said in the internal email that it had ''made the decision to maintain separate business structures ... due to the unique strategic challenges we all know these businesses continue to face''.

But the changes throw into doubt Qantas' ability to quickly replicate Virgin Australia by setting up a separate holding company for its international business. This paved the way for foreign investors to take a majority stake in Virgin's  domestic business, while its international flying business was able to retain access rights to routes in and out of Australia because it still complied with the Air Navigation Act.

Qantas needs the Senate to agree to repeal a key section of the Qantas Sale Act in order to copy Virgin.

The latest appointment represents a rapid rise within Qantas for Mr David, who stepped down as Tigerair chief executive in 2013 after just over a a year at the helm to become the boss of Jetstar's long-haul operations. Before Tigerair, he was a key executive under the leadership of Brett Godfrey at what was then named Virgin Blue.