Qantas has taken unprecedented new measures to save cash to ensure it gets through the coronavirus crisis.
The airline will halt all international flights, cut 60% of domestic services, has grounded its wide-body planes and has ‘stood down’ 30,000 employees until at least the end of May.
More than 150 aircraft will be temporarily grounded, including all of the airline’s A380s, 747s and B787s.
Some employees will be paid during their leave, others will get half-pay while some staff will have to take unpaid leave.
Qantas Group’s CEO Alan Joyce, who previously described the industry crisis as a ‘survival of the fittest’ scenario, will not take any salary for the remainder of the financial year.
He said that the coronavirus is having “a devastating impact on all airlines”.
“With the huge drop in revenue we’re facing, we have to make difficult decisions to guarantee the future of the national carrier,” Joyce said.
“This is a very hard set of circumstances for our people, as it is for lots of parts of the community right now.
“No airline in the world is immune to this, with the world’s leading carriers making deep cuts to flying schedules and jobs. Our strong balance sheet means we’ve entered this crisis in better shape than most and we’re taking action to make sure we can ride this out.”
Qantas’ fleet of freighters will however continue to be fully utilised. Some domestic passenger aircraft will also be used for freight-only flights to replace lost capacity from regular scheduled services.