Qantas and Jetstar have announced temporary cuts to their flights across Asia in response to a drop in demand due to the Coronavirus.
The actions were announced as part of the Group’s Half Year Financial Results, where the net profit impact of Coronavirus was estimated at between $100 million to $150 million for FY20 – a figure softened by lower fuel prices.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the airlines were taking action now to limit exposure to softening markets.
“Coronavirus resulted in the suspension of our flights to mainland China and we’re now seeing some secondary impacts with weaker demand on Hong Kong, Singapore and to a lesser extent Japan,” he said.
Alan Joyce said they’ve also seen some domestic demand weakness emerging, so they’re adjusting Qantas and Jetstar’s capacity in the second half.
“What’s important is that we have flexibility in how we respond to Coronavirus and how we maintain our strategic position more broadly”.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce
“We can extend how long the cuts are in place, we can deepen them or we can add seats back in if the demand is there. This is an evolving situation that we’re monitoring closely”.
“The capacity we’re taking out is the equivalent of grounding 18 aircraft across Qantas and Jetstar until the end of May, which in turn impacts about 700 full-time roles”.
“To avoid job losses we’ll be using leave balances across our workforce of 30,000 and freezing recruitment to help ride this out. We’ll also take advantage of having some aircraft on the ground by bringing forward planned maintenance.”
Qantas International will cut 16 per cent of Asia capacity until at least the end of May, impacting flights from Australia to mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
- Sydney-Shanghai (the airline’s sole route to mainland China) – will remain suspended
- Sydney-Hong Kong – reduced from 14 return flights per week to 7
- Brisbane-Hong Kong – reduced from 7 return flights per week to 4
- Melbourne-Hong Kong – reduced from 7 return flights per week to 5
- Melbourne-Singapore – flights to be operated by Boeing 787s instead of larger Airbus 380s (approx. 250 less seats per flight)
Qantas will reduce flights across the Tasman by 6 per cent with cancellations on Sydney-Auckland, Melbourne-Auckland and Brisbane-Christchurch.
Jetstar will reduce its Tasman flying by 5 per cent.
Jetstar Group will cut its capacity to Asia by 14 per cent until at least the end of May, impacting flights from Australia to Japan and Thailand, and intra-Asia flights.
Cairns-Tokyo (Narita), Cairns-Osaka, Gold Coast-Tokyo (Narita) and Melbourne & Sydney-Phuket will each be reduced by up to two return flights per week.
Each of the Jetstar airlines in Asia – Jetstar Asia (Singapore), Jetstar Japan and Jetstar Pacific (Vietnam) – have suspended flights to mainland China and are reducing flights across the region. Jetstar Asia is reducing total seats by 15 per cent.
The Group is looking at transferring an A320 aircraft from Jetstar to QantasLink to meet increased demand from the resources sector in Western Australia.
Customers with existing bookings who are impacted by the reductions will be contacted directly and offered alternatives.
For most domestic bookings, this will involve slight changes to their departure or arrival times.
For international bookings, customers can move flights to another date or connect through another Australian city
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