Virgin Australia cuts 3,000 jobs and plans to focus on shorter flights

Andrew Cummings
August 6, 2020

The airline says "given current global travel restrictions", it will continue to suspend flights to Los Angeles and Tokyo with the intention to restart flights and grow long-haul flights "when sufficient demand returns".

Two women wearing face masks and protective suits walk their luggage to a taxi rank at Sydney Airport.

It also plans to focus more on domestic and short-haul overseas flights as global travel is largely halted.

Virgin scrapped the low-priced carrier due to a lack of demand to support two brands within Australia's aviation market. However, it is keeping Tiger's Air Operator Certificate to potentially operate a cheaper carrier in the future.

Virgin will employ 6000 workers when the market recovers with plans to grow to 8000 in the future.


Among its plans, the airline will be streamlining its fleet, slashing 3000 jobs and discontinuing its Tigerair operations.

"While these changes are important to manage the impact of COVID-19, they involve some very tough decisions", said CEO Paul Scurrah.

'To those that leave the business, I want to thank them for the role they've played in making this a great airline'.

"Demand for domestic and short-haul worldwide travel is likely to take at least three years to return to pre-COVID-19 levels, with the real chance it could be longer, which means as a business we must make changes to ensure the Virgin Australia Group is successful in this new world".

"Our aviation and tourism sectors face continued uncertainty in the face of COVID-19 with many Australian airports recording passenger numbers less than three per cent of past year and ongoing changes to government travel restrictions", he said.


Managing Director of Bain Capital, Mike Murphy, said in a statement: "We have worked closely with Virgin management since the binding agreement was signed to develop this strategy together for a stronger, more profitable and competitive Virgin Australia".

Redundancy consultation with workers began this morning, but Virgin Australia managing director Paul Scurrah said he couldn't "guarantee it's going to be capped at 3000".

The airline plans to bring back up to 8,000 jobs in the future when the travel industry recovers.

All travel credits and Velocity Frequent Flyer points will be carried forward under the ownership of Bain Capital.

VIRGIN Australia will sack 3000 workers, trim its aircraft fleet and dump Tigerair as part of a major overhaul of the airline by its new American owner.


United States private equity giant Bain Capital was successful in its takeover bid for Virgin Australia in late June.

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