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Thursday airline cuts latest: Delta and Qantas cut again

written by Dylan Nicholson | March 19, 2020

As coronavirus continues to decimate airlines around the world, more cuts have been made overnight and into this morning.

Qantas announced that it has suspended all international flights as countries continue to beef up their travel bans.

A 2009 image of Qantas Boeing 747-400 VH-OJS at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)
A 2009 image of Qantas Boeing 747-400 VH-OJS at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)

Chief executive Alan Joyce said this morning, “The efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus have led to a huge drop in travel demand, the likes of which we have never seen before. This is having a devastating impact on all airlines.

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“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.”

Other major announcements overnight include:

  • Delta Air Lines said on Wednesday that it plans to park at least 600 planes, more than half of its fleet, double the number of parked planes it announced just a few days ago. Delta now plans to cut 70 per cent of its flights, up from an already-historic 40 per cent reduction announced on Friday as the airline’s March revenue takes a $2 billion hit from a plunge in bookings.
  • JetBlue Airways said it is cutting at least 40 per cent of its flights in April and May and expects “substantial” cuts in June and July. The airline plans to ground some planes.
  • Spirit, a rapidly growing airline that caters to budget travellers, is cutting April capacity by 20 per cent and May capacity by 25 per cent, CEO Ted Christie said in a memo to employees Wednesday.
  • South African Express, South Africa’s regional airline, has suspended all operations with no end date in sight.
  • The Ryanair Group expects that it will ground most of its flights. Ryanair will ground 80 per cent of its flights. However, more extreme actions are planned for 24 March, in other words, six days’ time. From midnight on 24 March, the airline expects that almost all of its flights will be grounded.

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