Thursday, 02 April, 2020

Virgin Australia stands down 8000 workers amid coronavirus crisis

A file image of Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-YIR at Auckland Airport A file image of Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-YIR at Auckland Airport
Ginger Lawrence | 27 March, 2020, 06:56

"The Virgin Australia Group has confirmed a revised domestic schedule following the Group's decision to extend domestic capacity reductions from 50 per cent to 90 per cent, including the suspension to Tigerair Australia domestic services effective immediately", the statement read.

Virgin Australia is moving to close its New Zealand operations as it grounds almost all its planes. During this period, employees will be able to access accrued leave but for many, leave without pay "will be inevitable".

The business is also discussing closing its New Zealand cabin crew and pilot base, and its Tigerair Australia Melbourne pilot base. The airline said it is working with more than 25 partners to find short and long term redeployment options.

Virgin is also looking to close its New Zealand cabin crew and pilot bases and its pilot base for low-priced arm Tigerair Australia in Melbourne, in a sign it would not return to business as usual when demand returns.

The cuts will take effect from midnight, Friday, and include the grounding of 125 aircraft.

Air New Zealand Ltd, which plans to cut up to 30% of its staff, has also warned it could re-emerge as a smaller airline once the coronavirus situation subsides.

South Korea reports 76 new coronavirus cases, total 9037
For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. For the 15th consecutive day the number of reported cases was in the region of 100 or lower.

The further reduction of the domestic capacity means the company has to temporarily suspend services to 19 Australian destinations now operated by it, and it will maintain connectivity to 17 destinations to transport essential services, critical freight and logistics.

Data firm Cirium on Tuesday estimated the number of aircraft placed in storage since January had climbed to 3,500 - up 1,000 from a day earlier - as more airlines ground planes.

"I know our people have been working tirelessly to help guests get home ahead of the various state travel restrictions and their efforts should be applauded as they adapt to a rapidly changing environment".

"However I am mindful that how we operate today may look different when we get to the other side of this crisis, " said Scurrah.

"We are now facing what will be the biggest grounding of aircraft in this country's history", Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah said.

Virgin Australia has stood down 80 per cent of its workforce, amid the coronavirus crisis and extensive Government travel bans.