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Qantas slashes all international flights till end May, standing down most employees

Australian airline Qantas and its budget arm JetStar are cutting all scheduled international flights from late March till end of May 2020. 

In a press statement, Qantas said more than 150 aircraft will be temporarily grounded. This will include all of Qantas’ A380s, 747s and B787-9s and Jetstar’s B787-8s. The airline is holding discussions with airports and government on parking arrangements for these aircrafts. 

Photo courtesy: Skytrax
Photo courtesy: Skytrax

Jetstar Asia (Singapore) will suspend all flights from March 23 to at least April 15.

“The efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus have led to a huge drop in travel demand, the likes of which we have never seen before. This is having a devastating impact on all airlines," said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

"Our strong balance sheet means we’ve entered this crisis in better shape than most and we’re taking action to make sure we can ride this out."

Earlier this week, cuts of up to 90 per cent of international flying and about 60 per cent of domestic flying were announced by Qantas and Jetstar. 

As the Australian government moves to recommend suspension of all overseas travel, the airline will continue regularly scheduled international flights until late March to assist with repatriation. They will thereafter be suspended "until at least the end of May 2020".

Till the end of May, two-thirds of the airline's 30,000 employees will be temporarily stood down to "preserve as many jobs as possible longer term," Qantas said.

CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

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