Yesterday, Virgin Australia announced that it would be ceasing all international flights by the end of March. This morning, Qantas and Jetstar followed suit.
The news comes after the government’s upgrading of the travel advice for all Australians to level 4, or "do not travel".
“Regularly scheduled international flights will continue until late March to assist with repatriation and will then be suspended until at least the end of May 2020,” Qantas said in a release.
The cutdown in domestic capacity is less severe. Qantas and Jetstar will continue to service the majority of destinations across Australia, but flight frequency has taken a big hit. There will be a 60 per cent cut in capacity across the network.
Qantas’s decision will also affect over two thirds of its workforce. “In order to preserve as many jobs as possible longer term, Qantas and Jetstar will stand down the majority of their 30,000 employees until at least the end of May 2020,” the statement reads.
All cancelled flights –domestic and international – have been converted into travel credits, which can be spent across the entire Qantas network. If your flight has been affected by these measures, you'll be contacted directly by Qantas next Monday (March 23). Any customers travelling before the end of May can also request for their booking to be converted into a travel credit.
Qantas is urging that customers only call their customer helpline if they have travel plans within the next 48 hours that have been affected. If your booking was made through a travel agent or other third-party, get in touch directly with them to change your booking.
Check Qantas's dedicated coronavirus page for more travel updates here.