Virgin Australia stands down 8,000 in unprecedented crisis

Business | 25 Mar 2020 11:12 am

Virgin Australia has announced further cuts as the new coronavirus pandemic continues to savage the airline industry, saying it is reducing its domestic capacity by 90 percent and temporarily standing down 8,000 of its 10,000 staff.

ABC News reports that, in a statement to the ASX, the company said it would ground 125 domestic aircraft from Friday, and all Tigerair Australia services would be temporarily suspended, effective immediately.

Virgin said the suspension of "almost all" domestic and international flights would be in place until at least the middle of June.

The 8,000 staff will be stood down until at least the end of May and will take leave without pay, but the company said it was "working with more than 25 partners to identify short- and long-term redeployment options".

"There has never been a travel environment in Australia as restricted as the one we see today," Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah said.

"The extraordinary steps we've taken have been in response to the federal and state governments' latest travel advice.''

Transport Workers' Union national secretary Michael Kaine called on the Federal Government to pay up to 80 percent of the wages of workers stood down by Virgin and its rival Qantas.-Photo: AAP



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