Qantas parks A380s, pulls back capacity across Asia, Europe and Americas as COVID-19 bites
- March 10, 2020
As COVID-19 continues tightens its grasp across the world, Qantas has announced further capacity cuts on the wake of a significant drop in forward demand for travel for 2020. As the virus continues to spread in North America, Asia and Europe, the airline will reduce it capacity from 5% to 23% and extend these cuts till mid-September 2020.
Qantas will use smaller aircraft and reduce the frequency of flights to maintain overall connectivity. Qantas will ground eight of the airline’s largest aircraft, the Airbus A380, until mid-September. A further two A380s are undergoing scheduled heavy maintenance and cabin upgrades, leaving two of its A380s flying.
QF1 and QF2 will be temporarily re-routed to become a Sydney-Perth-London service from 20 April using Boeing 787 aircraft instead of the ‘Kangaroo route’ Sydney – Singapore – London on the Airbus A380.
The start of Qantas’ new Brisbane-Chicago route will be delayed from 15 April to mid-September.
QF37/QF38 Melbourne-Singapore flights will be cancelled as of April 20. This, alongside the removal of Singapore as a stopover hub for flights to London, will also see the Qantas First Lounge in Singapore temporarily closed, with travellers directed to the Qantas Business Lounge.
Daily Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth flights will continue but will operate on Boeing 787 aircraft from 20 April.
Melbourne-Los Angeles flights will be replaced to Boeing 787 aircraft from 1 June.
Melbourne-San Francisco and Brisbane-San Francisco flights will be suspended from April 18.
The new non-stop Brisbane-Chicago which was due to launch on April 15, will be suspended until further notice, while the Sydney-Vancouver seasonal service has been withdrawn altogether.
Sydney-San Francisco service will operate on Boeing 787 aircraft as of April 18.
In addition to cutting capacity, a number of cost reduction measures will be triggered across the Qantas Group, including:
- Annual management bonuses set to zero for FY20.
- For the remainder of FY20:
- Qantas Chairman will take no fees.
- Group CEO will take no salary.
- Qantas Board will take a 30 per cent reduction in fees.
- Group Executive Management will take a 30 per cent pay cut.
- Freeze of all non-essential recruitment and consultancy work.
- Asking all Qantas and Jetstar employees to take paid or unpaid leave in light of reduced flying activity.