Qantas Will Suspend Every International Service Until May

by Zac George

As reported a few days ago, Qantas announced that they would be making some massive changes to their route network amid the COVID-19 virus. The airline stated they would be cutting both international and domestic services due to the lightened demand as well as precautions and bans being placed by countries every day. As the virus shows no signs of slowing down or at least being contained, Qantas will be removing many of their routes as well as grounding aircraft and today’s press release should give us a better idea of exactly what and when things are going to be altered.

Qantas previously announced both of their sectors would be heavily reduced but today’s announcement takes that a little further, Qantas will suspend every international service until late May.

Qantas Will Suspend Every International Service Until May

Qantas 747

  • The airline has stated that ALL international flights in and out of Australia will be cancelled for both Qantas as well as Jetstar. Interestingly, they have mentioned that they may be able to operate select services but I don’t see how that will work considering the situation status but it’ll be interesting to see which routes do stay if that’s the case.
  • Jetstar Japan has fully suspended its whole operations
  • Jetstar Pacific has fully suspended it’s international operations with further large cuts coming to the domestic side
  • Jetstar Asia will fully cancel their operations with scheduled service set to resume on the 15th of April
  • All of the International fleet will be completely grounded
  • The international services are set to stop late March with them restarting in late May at this stage
  • Domestic capacity will be reduced by 60%

If you’d like to know exactly which routes have been cut or changed, take a look at the full list here.

Alan Joyce’s comments regarding the grounding of the fleet:

“We’re in a strong financial position right now, but our wages bill is more than $4 billion a year. With the huge drop in revenue we’re facing, we have to make difficult decisions to guarantee the future of the national carrier.

“The reality is we’ll have 150 aircraft on the ground and sadly there’s no work for most of our people. Rather than lose these highly skilled employees who we’ll need when this crisis passes, we are instead standing down two-thirds of our 30,000 employees until at least the end of May.”

Alan Joyce’s comments regarding staff:

“Most of our people will be using various types of paid leave during this time, and we’ll have a number of support options in place. We’re also talking to our partners like Woolworths about temporary job opportunities for our people.

“This is a very hard set of circumstances for our people, as it is for lots of parts of the community right now.

It’s a very sad time for a lot of people right now as job uncertainty is at an all-time high. Qantas explains that they will temporarily stand down some 30,000 workers until the end of May – that’s really devastating to see.

qantas-787-dreamliner

Qantas 787 Dreamliner

This is massive news and it’s going to hurt the airline terribly. As well as not operating aircraft, the airline will also have to park and store them which will also cost an arm and a leg. My thoughts are that most of the aircraft will be sent to Brisbane and also airports like Alice Springs as these airports have a lot more available space.

I’d say there’s almost a slim to no chance that majority of the fleet would be parked in either Sydney or Melbourne purely due to the high costs involved.

What are your thoughts on today’s announcement from Qantas?

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