Qantas Just All But Grounded Their International Fleet Until June

Qantas Just All But Grounded Their International Fleet Until June

Qantas Just All But Grounded Their International Fleet Until June

Other global flights, such as Virgin Australia's popular Sydney to Los Angeles route and New Zealand destinations will continue to fly until March 29th to enable foreigners and Australians to return home.

The airline is following advice given by the Australian government to no longer fly to foreign countries.

The airline will ground over 150 aircraft, including all of its Airbus A380, Airbus A330, Boeing 787-9 and Boeing 747 jets, with the iconic jumbos - due for retirement by years' end - now expected not to return to the skies.

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said at the weekend that airlines had enough cash reserves to remain viable for now, but did not rule out a bailout to stop Qantas and other carriers going under.

Virgin Australia has announced they will be suspending their worldwide fleet for two and half months, as the coronavirus crisis deepens.

Yesterday, Qantas and Jetstar announced they will slash global flights by 90 per cent, and domestic flights by 60 per cent until at least the end of May.

In response to expanded government travel restrictions and increased impacts from Covid-19 on travel demand it was also slashing domestic capacity by 50 per cent.

It would be cheaper to pay benefits to Australian employees than give money and benefits to foreign-owned airlines, he said. It's not ruling out further cuts.

He also pointed out Qantas owned a major part of its fleet and was not having to pay out high lease costs, which was not the case with Virgin.

Virgin Australia advises guests not to contact the airline unless they are travelling in the next 24 hours or need immediate assistance to return home or to their point of origin due to "the large number of schedule changes".

The Australian government said it would refund and waive charges to airlines such as domestic air traffic control fees worth 715 million Australian dollars ($430m), including 159 million Australian dollars ($96m) upfront, as it advised citizens against all travel outside the country.

American Airlines Group Inc said it had extended the time on voluntary unpaid leave options for flight attendants, mechanics and gate agents to up to 12 months, a sign that it does not expect depressed travel demand to rebound any time soon.

The only bright spot for airlines is the cargo market, where rates are surging as a result of the loss of capacity in the belly of passenger aircraft as those flights are cut.

Air travellers grab carry-on luggage behind rows of empty seats aboard a Delta flight, as coronavirus disease disruption continues across the global industry, from New York's JFK International Airport to San Francisco, California, US, March 17, 2020.

The airline had also set up a dedicated customer care hub on its website to deal with a surge of customer queries and travel changes.

Qantas shares have shed almost two thirds of their value since hitting a record high $7.46 in December.

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