Airlines around the world have reacted to travel restrictions put in place by countries around the world. The sharp decline in passenger numbers began before country restrictions which have hit airlines hard. Qantas is the latest airline to react and will not be the last.
Qantas, similar to Virgin Austrlia has not been immune to this downturn in passenger traffic. The government ban on entry to UK travellers affecting one of their most lucrative routes. With all borders then closed on the 20th March Qantas felt the need to react. All borders could remain closed for a period of 6 months.
How will employees be affected
The airline has taken the unprecedented step to stand down 20,000 of it’s 30,000 strong workforce. This doesn’t necessarily mean staff will leave the airline. Staff with accrued long service leave are being asked to use it and some staff will be asked to take leave in advance. It is inevitable that some staff will have to take unpaid leave.
The airline has also spoken to other employers in Australia who may be able to step in and help. With more than 150 aircraft temporarily grounded including all larger aircraft these will be difficult times. A380’s, B747’s and B787’s will be hit.
Qantas statement follows Virgin Australia
flight cuts by Qantas have come one day after Virgin Australia confirmed they were suspending International services. Their flight restrictions will be in place until June 14th and domestic capacity has also been seriously reduced.
We have entered an unprecedented time in the global aviation industry, which has required us to take significant action to responsibly manage our business while balancing traveller demands and supporting the well being of AustraliansPaul Scurrah : Virgin Australia Managing director
With this reduction in flights across Australia it is not just the airlines which will feel this. Ramp workers, baggage handlers, and staff at airports across Australia will feel the effects from the aviation industry reducing services.