Qantas announces it will stand down two-thirds of its 30,000 staff due to coronavirus.

Qantas will ground all its international flights and temporarily stand down two-thirds of its 30,000 staff until the end of May.

The cutbacks, announced this morning, come as Australia’s biggest airline reels from a massive downturn in travel due to coronavirus.

Qantas international flights will be suspended from the end of March until May and domestic services will be cut by 60 per cent.

About 20,000 Qantas and Jetstar staff will be stood down during that time. Qantas said in a statement to the ASX this morning the decision was made to “preserve as many jobs as possible longer term”.

It’s understood staff will be able to use annual and long service leave but some staff will have to endure leave without pay.

“Employees with low leave balances at the start of the stand down will be able to access up to four weeks’ leave in advance of earning it,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, periods of leave without pay for some employees are inevitable.”

It follows Virgin Australia announcing yesterday it was suspending all its international services due to coronavirus.

Source: News.com.au – March 19 2020

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