Virgin Australia will make even more cuts to domestic flights after the federal government has warned against interstate travel and states have blocked their borders.
The airline said this morning that it “expects a substantial reduction in its internal capacity” in light of federal and state government measures to crack down on the spread of coronavirus.
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Virgin said more information on the cuts will be provided in the coming days.
Qantas is expected to make a similar move.
It comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told Australians to avoid non-essential domestic travel, which will further reduce the demand for domestic flights.
“What we are saying is that non-essential travel should be avoided and particularly when we talk about interstate travel and longer distances, the type of travel that would not normally be part of your normal life,” he said. Morrison Sunday.
“So it means that those holidays that you may have planned to take from one state to another during the school holidays cancel them.
“This is what it means. It is regrettable and I know the impact it will have on many people in those communities where the holidays would take place. “
Interstate travelers are expected to plummet further with four states and territories – Tasmania, Northern Territory, Southern Australia and Western Australia – effectively closing their borders and requiring interstate visitors to self-quarantine for two weeks at the entrance.
Airlines have already made drastic cuts to their services as travel is limited due to the pandemic.
Last week, Virgin Australia said it would ground the entire international fleet and reduce the internal capacity of Virgin and Tigerair by half.
Qantas will also suspend its international operations and reduce Qantas and Jetstar’s internal flights by 60%, temporarily eliminating 20,000 staff members in the process.
Meanwhile, the world’s largest airline for international travel, Emirates, said it would ground most of its passenger flights and reduce staff wages by up to 50% as it is btriggered by a “sudden and painful arrest” from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Emirates will continue to operate passenger and freight flights to the following countries and territories until they become aware as long as the borders remain open and you are required to: United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, the United States and Canada, “said the airline in a statement.