Virgin Australia flight attendant's heartbreaking message as 8,000 staff are stood down

Cornelia Mascio
Marzo 27, 2020

The airline group, which is already suspending all worldwide routes, is taking further measures and cutting most of its domestic flights as well.

Virgin is also looking to close its New Zealand cabin crew and pilot bases and its pilot base for low-priced arm Tigerair Australia in Melbourne, in a sign it would not return to business as usual when demand returns.

Thousands of workers will be stood down for two months, as Virgin Australia cuts its domestic capacity by 90 percent.

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Japan Airlines Co Ltd said on Tuesday it would cut flights on global routes from the country by about 64% between March 29 and April 30.

Data firm Cirium on Tuesday estimated the number of aircraft placed in storage since January had climbed to 3,500 - up 1,000 from a day earlier - as more airlines ground planes.

"Despite the dramatic steps taken to respond to market conditions, we recognise our role as a key part of the nation's travel industry and will work with government to maintain vital domestic routes for the transportation of essential services, critical freight and logistics operations".

The cuts will take effect from midnight, Friday, and include the grounding of 125 aircraft.

The company planned to return Tigerair Australia and Virgin Australia to the skies as soon as its viable to do so. The group has a fleet of 133 aircraft across the three airline brands, namely Virgin Australia, Virgin Australia Regional and Tigerair.

"There has never been a travel environment in Australia as restricted as the one we see today", Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah said in a statement on Wednesday. "From the end of this week, we will begin repositioning and grounding more than 125 aircraft in our fleet, suspending all our domestic and global flying until at least the middle of June".

Mr Scurrah also said budget carrier Tigerair will suspend all flights effective immediately.

Staff will be able to draw down their leave, however leave without pay will also be "inevitable", Virgin Australia said, adding that it's talking to around 25 other companies at ways to keep its staff employed in some form.

The statement came after escalating state border closures across Australia.

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