Qantas Suspends All International Flights & Stands Down Two Thirds Of Staff

Qantas and Jetstar are now suspending all scheduled international flights from late March and will be temporarily standing down 2/3rds of staff, following the latest government travel advice and travel bans.

Qantas and Jetstar are now suspending all scheduled international flights from late March and will be temporarily standing down 2/3rds of staff, following the latest government travel advice and travel bans.

In what is huge news this morning, The Qantas Group has outlined the customer and employee impact of a massive drop in travel demand triggered by the public health response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The news follows earlier updates this week that saw 90 per cent of international flying and about 60 per cent of domestic flying announced by Qantas and Jetstar.

The group has also announced the following this morning;

  • 20,000 employees – two-thirds of Qantas’s 30,000 workforces will be temporarily stood down until the end of May 2020 to preserve as many jobs as possible longer term.
  • Employees will be able to draw on annual and long service leave, although the airline says periods of leave without pay are inevitable.
  • Payment of $201 million shareholder dividend deferred until September 2020.

With the Federal Government now recommending against all overseas travel from Australia, regularly scheduled international flights will continue until late March to assist with repatriation and will then be suspended until at least the end of May 2020.

During the period, more than 150 aircraft will be temporarily grounded, including all of Qantas’ A380s, 747s and B787-9s and Jetstar’s B787-8s.

The group says “discussions are progressing with airports and government about parking for these aircraft” but “essential domestic, regional and freight connections will be maintained as much as possible”.

Qantas’ have also said that their fleet of freighters will continue to be fully utilised. Some domestic passenger aircraft will also be used for freight-only flights to replace lost capacity from regularly scheduled services.

The group says there is no impact on Qantas Loyalty’s operations as a result of today’s announcement.

The news follows the announcement by Virgin Australia cancelling all international flights yesterday.

For further details, visit the Qantas News Room.

For all of this weeks rolling travel industry COVID-19 updates, please read here.