Qantas and Jetstar have reportedly halted flights to Asia, the United States, United Kingdom, and New Zealand due to the coronavirus, and slashed the international flying capacity by a quarter. Australia's national carrier Qantas has grounded eight Airbus A380s until mid-September and scheduled two A380s to undergo maintenance in its fleet. While its subsidiary Jetstar reduced trans-Tasman flights in response to the drop in demand due to coronavirus that incurred an estimated AUS $100 million (NZ$105) loss to the flag carrier as per media report.
“The Australian government is restricting entry from some countries, including mainland China, Iran, and South Korea. Australian citizens or permanent residents (and their immediate family) are exempt”, Jetstar wrote in an official update on its website. “In light of the Coronavirus outbreak, we have adjusted the number of flights on some routes and temporarily suspended some international routes”, it said.
Jetstar suspended flights between Melbourne and Bangkok, and Singapore to Taipei and Osaka. Jetstar Japan suspended its international services to Hong Kong, while Jetstar Pacific suspended all international routes until the end of April. Jetstar Asia cut capacity by almost 40 per cent.
Qantas cut flights to international routes for six months leaving two planes in operation due to dip in the forward travel demands. Smaller planes are being said to service the key international routes. Qantas’s signature Sydney-Singapore-London return service (QF1 and QF2) has been temporarily rerouted to become a Sydney-Perth-London service in response to “strong customer demand”.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in a media statement that due to the coronavirus outbreak there’s a sharp decline in booking on the international network, therefore the air-carrier is cutting capacity out of mid-September. He added saying that further cost reduction measures will be taken to mitigate the adverse impact of coronavirus.
The number of Qantas flights on international routes will be cut by 31 per cent; flights to the US will drop by 19, 17 per cent for the UK, and 10 per cent to New Zealand confirmed reports. In total, 38 Qantas and Jetstar aircraft across the international network has been grounded. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and chairman Richard Goyder, will not be taking a salary for the financial year to compensate for further losses.