Qantas cuts flights, salaries slashed amid virus crisis
QANTAS will reduce its international flying capacity by almost a quarter over the next six months in response to coronavirus.
All Qantas and Jetstar staff are being asked to take paid or unpaid leave, while Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce will take no salary for the remainder of this financial year.
It has cut its flights to Asia by 31 per cent, to the US by 19 per cent, the UK by 17 per cent and Trans-Tasman flights by 10 per cent.
In total, the cutback is the equivalent of grounding 38 Qantas and Jetstar aircraft.
"Rather than exit routes altogether, Qantas will use smaller aircraft and reduce the frequency of flights to maintain overall connectivity," a spokesman said.
"This approach results in eight of the airline's largest aircraft, the Airbus A380, grounded until mid-September. A further two A380s are undergoing scheduled heavy maintenance and cabin upgrades, leaving two of its A380s flying."
The existing Sydney-Singapore-London return service (QF1 and QF2) will be replaced with the direct Perth-London service from April 20.
Jetstar is suspending flights to Bangkok, while slashing flights to Vietnam and Japan by almost half.
The Qantas chair and CEO are taking no increase in fees or salary, while the board and executive management are taking a 30 per cent pay cut.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said there had been a sharp drop in international flights in the past week.
"Less flying means less work for our people, but we know coronavirus will pass and we want to avoid job losses wherever possible," he said.
"We're asking our people to use their paid leave and, if they can, consider taking some unpaid leave given we're flying a lot less."
The start of Qantas' new Brisbane-Chicago route will be delayed from April 15 to mid-September.
Jetstar will also make significant cuts to its international network, including suspending flights to Bangkok and reducing flights from Australia to Vietnam and Japan by almost half. Jetstar's daily Gold Coast to Seoul flight was suspended last week.
Domestically, Qantas and Jetstar capacity reductions will be increased from 3 per cent to 5 per cent through to mid-September 2020, in line with broader economic conditions.