Virgin Australia stands down 8,000, cuts domestic flights

Virgin axes nearly every domestic flight and stands down 80 per cent of staff

Domestic services are being further reduced from 50 to 90 percent, with 125 aircraft grounded from midnight Friday though until mid June. Qantas' domestic flights have been reduced by 60 per cent, while it has also temporarily suspended all global flights.

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

"We are now facing what will be the biggest grounding of aircraft in this country's history", Scurrah said. Starting from midnight of March 27, it would temporarily cease flights to 19 Australian destinations now operated by Virgin Australia.

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

Virgin Australia Group now plans, working with the country's government, to maintain only the "vital" domestic routes.

The airline says it is still committed to transporting essential services, critical freight and logistics operations, along with assisting customers in reaching their destination as state borders tighten.

Previously, the group said it would suspend all global flying starting from March 30.

As for the people affected, the company said it would temporarily stand down about 8000 of the company's 10,000 work force until at least the end of May to preserve future jobs.

Virgin said it would try and redeploy workers and encourage them to use leave, but leave without pay would be inevitable for many. The group has a fleet of 133 aircraft across the three airline brands, namely Virgin Australia, Virgin Australia Regional and Tigerair.

"From the end of this week, we will begin re-positioning and grounding more than 125 aircraft in our fleet, suspending nearly all our domestic and worldwide flying until at least the middle of June".

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

The announcement was made on Wednesday when Virgin Australia issued a press statement outlining the cancellations.

Both Virgin Australia and Tigerair Australia guests who are booked to travel between now and March 31 may be able to change their flight to a Virgin Australia service departing on or before March 27, with change fees and fare difference waived.



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