It’s been announced overnight that Qantas and Jetstar will suspend all international flights from “late March” until at least 31st May 2020.
The airline will also cut 60% of their domestic network.
All Qantas Airbus A380, Boeing 747, 787 and Jetstar Boeing 787 aircraft will be grounded.
The airline has also announced that some passenger aircraft will be utilised for freight only flights.
Qantas have announced some fairly major changes to its route network overnight.
From a fleet point of view, eight of the airlines Airbus A380 aircraft will be grounded. Two are currently undergoing maintenance. Leaving two in service.
Rather than cancelling routes completely, Qantas have re-arranged a number of aircraft to meet the demand. Most notably, the Airbus A380 service from Sydney will no longer serve London. Instead, the airline will send a Boeing 787 aircraft from Sydney to Perth. It will then continue direct from Perth to London. Therefore, both Qantas flights into London will be Perth – London direct flights operated by the 787. This results in a decrease of 250 seats on the route.
The previously announced Brisbane – Chicago route has been postponed until September.
To take up the slack from the A380 no longer being on the Sydney-Singapore-London route, an A330 has replaced the smaller Boeing 787 on the existing route between Sydney and Singapore.
Allan Joyce, CEO Of The Qantas Group Commented:
“In the past fortnight we’ve seen a sharp drop in bookings on our international network as the global coronavirus spread continues. We expect lower demand to continue for the next several months, so rather than taking a piecemeal approach we’re cutting capacity out to mid-September. This improves our ability to reduce costs as well as giving more certainty to the market, customers and our people.Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce
We retain the flexibility to cut further or to put capacity back in as this situation develops.
The Qantas Group is a strong business in a challenging environment. We have a robust balance sheet, low debt levels and most of our profit comes from the domestic market. We’re in a good position to ride this out, but we need to take steps to maintain this strength.
When revenue falls you need to cut costs, and reducing the amount of flying we do is the best way for us to do that.
Less flying means less work for our people, but we know coronavirus will pass and we want to avoid job losses wherever possible. 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.
Annual management bonuses have been set to zero and the Group Executive team will take a significant pay cut for the rest of this financial year.
It’s hard to predict how long this situation will last, which is why we’re moving now to make sure we remain well positioned. But we know it will pass, and we’ll be well positioned to take advantage of opportunities when it does.”
Qantas have also closed their recently opened First Class lounge in Singapore. This will remain the case until the airline resumes flights with a first class cabin to the airport.
SUMMARY OF QANTAS GROUP NETWORK CHANGES
(All effective until mid-September 2020)
|Sydney-Tokyo (Haneda)||B747 replaced by smaller A330||30 March|
|Melbourne-Singapore||7 return flights per week cancelled (QF 37/38)– B787 replaced by larger A330 on 7 return flights per week (QF 35/36)||20 April– 4 May|
|Brisbane-Chicago||Route launch postponed||Was to start 15 April|
|Brisbane-San Francisco||Route suspended (3 return flights per week)||18 April|
|Sydney-San Francisco||B787 replaced by larger B747||18 April|
|Melbourne-San Francisco||Route suspended (4 return flights per week)||18 April|
|Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth||A380 replaced by smaller B787||20 April|
|Melbourne-Los Angeles||A380 replaced by smaller B787||1 June|
|Sydney-Vancouver||Seasonal service suspended (3 return flights per week)||June and July only|
|Sydney-London (Heathrow)||Flights to operate via Perth (instead of Singapore)then non-stop to London.– Perth-London to become double daily as a result.– A380 replaced by smaller B787||20 April|
|Sydney-Santiago||Delaying planned B787 introduction and continuing with B747||1 August|
In addition to the above, Qantas have extended the cancellation of the following routes
Qantas – Extension of previously announced cancellations
(Until mid-Sept 2020 unless stated)
|Sydney-Shanghai||Route continues to be suspended until at least mid-July (7 flights per week)(sole route to mainland China)|
|Sydney-Hong Kong||Reduced from 14 to 7 return flights per week|
|Melbourne-Hong Kong||Reduced from 7 to 4 return flights per week (1 additional cancellation per week from previously announced cuts)|
|Brisbane-Hong Kong||Reduced from 7 to 3 return flights per week (1 additional cancellation per week from previously announced cuts)|
Anyone who is booked on the above services, Qantas have said they will be in touch in the coming days.
All images: Qantas