It seems that Covid-19/Coronavirus/Human Malware is heavily impacting Qantas Group, as it prepares to slice off its international operations until at least the end of May 2020
Qantas Group had been making cuts, with plans to cut 90% of its international programme and 60% of the Australian domestic flying programme were due to be cut.
However, with the Australian Government recommending against all overseas travel from Australia, scheduled international flights will continue until late March to assist with the repatriation of citizens and will then be suspended until at least the end of May 2020.
Qantas is in ongoing discussions with the Federal Government about the continuation of some strategic links, which may be operated on an ad-hoc basis.
The net result is that 150 aircraft will be grounded. This will include:
- Qantas Airbus A380
- Qantas Boeing 747
- Qantas Boeing B787-9
- Jetstar B787-8
The airline will attempt to retain essential domestic, regional and freight connections operations as much of possible. Meanwhile, the Qantas fleet of freighters will continue to be fully utilised during the cuts, with some domestic passenger aircraft used for freight-only flights to replace lost capacity.
In terms of International Operations:
- All regularly scheduled Qantas and Jetstar international flights from Australia will be suspended from end March until at least end May 2020.
- Some flights may continue in order to maintain key links, based on ongoing discussions with the Australian Federal Government.
- Jetstar Asia (Singapore) will suspend all flights from 23 March to at least 15 April 2020.
- Jetstar Japan has suspended international flights and reduced domestic flying.
- Jetstar Pacific (Vietnam) has suspended international flights and will significantly reduce domestic flying
Meanwhile, the Australian Domestic network will attempt to maintain connectivity to almost all Australian domestic and regional destinations that Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar currently operate to.
The 60 per cent reduction in capacity will come mostly from a significant reduction in flight frequency, but also route suspensions and postponing a number of new route launches.
But what about the staff?
It seems Qantas and Jetstar are planning to will stand down the majority of their 30,000 employees until at least the end of May 2020. During the stand-down, employees will be able to draw down on annual and long service leave and additional support mechanisms will be introduced, including leave at half pay and early access to long service leave. Employees with low leave balances at the start of the stand-down will be able to access up to four weeks’ leave in advance of earning it.
Sadly it seems that periods of leave without pay for some employees are inevitable.
Management has fallen on some of their swords in terms of pay, with the Senior Group Management Executives and Board reducing their salaries from 30 per cent cuts to 100 per cent until at least the end of this financial year, joining the Chairman and Group CEO in taking no pay.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce states:
“The efforts to contain the spread of Coronavirus have led to a huge drop in travel demand, the likes of which we have never seen before. This is having a devastating impact on all airlines.
“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.”
“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.
“No airline in the world is immune to this, with the world’s leading carriers making deep cuts to flying schedules and jobs. Our strong balance sheet means we’ve entered this crisis in better shape than most and we’re taking action to make sure we can ride this out.
“Since this crisis started, there has been overwhelming support from our customers. That gives me even more confidence that we’ll get through this,”
As for passengers…
If past performance is anything to go by, you can assume that the contact lines will be hot for the next few days. If you need to contact Qantas or Jetstar by phone, if you’re travelling in the next 48 hours – have a go. But if you’ve got time to wait before you travel. hold back.
The airline will be converting all bookings on cancelled flights to a travel credit, which can be used anywhere on our network. Affected customers will be contacted directly from next Monday. Any customers travelling before the end of May who wish to change their booking are also eligible to receive a travel credit instead. If you booked with a Third-Party, you’ll need to contact them directly.
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