Virgin Australia will be cutting about 3000 workers and suhting down Tigerair Australia as it rebrands as a “value carrier” focused on domestic and short-haul international flights, it revealed tonight.
The job cuts have an impact on about one third of the workforce of the Brisbane-based airline through cabin crew, ground staff, mechanics, baggage handlers and some foreign head office workers. The cuts in its foreign network should also be felt.
The airline will also terminate all international long-haul flights and make the transition to a single Boeing 737 fleet for international domestic and short-haul travel.
Economy and business classes will continue, but Virgin Australia’s lounges will remain closed due to a lack of demand during the pandemic for the near future.
The announcements were made this morning as Virgin Australia announced its intention to re-emerge following the COVID-19 pandemic from the brink of collapse.
“Demand for domestic and short-haul international 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,” chief executive Paul Scurrah said today.
“Our initial focus will be on investing in the core Virgin Australia domestic and short-haul international operation alongside our 10-million-member strong Velocity Frequent Flyer program, continuing to offer an extensive network of destinations, a domestic lounge network and value for money for customers.”
Mr Scurrah said the decision to cull 3000 workers was “very tough” but the airline hoped to re-employ lost staff once it was stronger.