As the COVID-19 virus continues to cause major problems around the globe, airlines are constantly making changes to their schedules and at a rapid rate, grounding fleets of aircraft. Virgin Australia previously outlined its intentions only three days ago on the 15th of March explaining that they would be reducing both their international and domestic networks as well as pushing back their new Brisbane – Tokyo service to a later date. In a massive move announced by the airline today, Virgin Australia will ground their entire international fleet.
Today’s announcement means the airline will be cutting their international services but also their domestic capacity at a massive 50%, more details on those routes will be available in the coming days.
Virgin Australia Will Ground Their Entire International Fleet
The airline will also ground many of the domestic aircraft, including 737-800’s.
- The airline will ground all of their 5 777-300/ER’s, (VH-VOZ), (VH-VPD), (VH-VPE), (VH-VPF),(VH-VPH). Los Angeles is the only destination for the carrier’s long-haul aircraft which means this route will be stopping on the 30th of March and will end on the 14th of June, 2020. The Melbourne service will be postponed from the 20th of March.
- Virgin Australia will also ground 6 of their A330-200’s.
- As well as the international fleet, 34 737-800′, as well as ATR’s and A320’s.
- The new Melbourne – Denpasar service has also been pushed back with the initial starting date also being March 29th
- All flights to New Zealand will be stopped from the 30th
- And all flights to/from Denpasar will also be stopped on the 30th.
“We have responded by making tough decisions which include reducing our domestic capacity and phasing in the temporary suspension of international flying for a period of two and a half months.
“We are committed to supporting our guests during this period and have set up a dedicated customer care hub to manage the surge of customer queries and travel changes. We are also acutely aware of the important role airlines play in supporting connectivity, tourism and the nation’s economy, and are maintaining most of our domestic routes, and instead reducing frequencies in our schedule.
“The changes announced today will affect our people and we are having constructive discussions with team members and relevant unions. Wherever possible, we will aim to avoid redundancies by fast-tracking measures such as the use of accrued leave, leave without pay and redeployment.
“The Virgin Australia Group is focused on ensuring we manage the business through this difficult period and maintain a strong and competitive aviation industry in Australia for years to come”.
The situation at both airlines really isn’t great with the Australian government already announcing a bail-out deal of $715 million AUD. While the circumstances aren’t good for either carrier, Virgin is no doubt in a lot more of a rocky situation compared to Qantas finance wise.
I really feel for the people at the airline as it would be a difficult time and it’s not rare to see job cuts in this situation. The airline is full of amazing people and I think they do offer a really solid experience in business, especially on the long-haul services.