VA responds to COVID-19 with further capacity cuts.
Virgin Australia has just announced reduced frequencies on Brisbane-Haneda, Sydney-Los Angeles and trans-Tasman services, as well as the axing of flights from Auckland to Tonga and Rarotonga as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
CEO Paul Scurrah confirmed a significant decline in forward bookings over the last two weeks, but noted that “as a predominately domestic airline, the Virgin Australia Group is insulated from some of the broader international impacts”.
The carrier is targeting international capacity reductions increasing to 10.3% in the second half of calendar year 2020, while domestic capacity is expected to decline by 5%, targeting routes with multiple daily frequencies to minimise disruption.
A continued focus on cost reduction will see fees paid to the company’s Board cut by 15%, the elimination of all bonuses across the group this financial year, and a cessation of all discretionary spend and non-critical capital expenditure.
Leave initiatives will include using accrued annual leave or unpaid leave, or reducing standard working hours where operationally available.
Despite the overall demand decline, Scurrah noted that travel bookings to Western Australia and local leisure destinations such as the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Hamilton Island continue to be ahead of where they were at this time last year.
“This demonstrates Australians are continuing to travel within our own backyard and support local tourism,” he said.
More details in today’s issue of Travel Daily.