[Ref Flight International Magazine 17-23 Mar 2020]
Australia’s Qantas Group is to ground eight Airbus A380s for six months, as it cuts capacity by nearly a quarter over the period to September 2020.
Only two A380s will remain flying, the measures follow the continuing downturn in demand in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Rather than exit routes altogether, Qantas will use smaller aircraft and reduce the frequency of flights to maintain overall connectivity,” it adds. This will include removing the eight A380s until September.
Qantas Group, which includes budget operator Jetstar, is to slash international capacity by 23%, mainly in the Asia-Pacific markets. Capacity on US and UK routes will be cut by 19% and 17% respectively, says the company.
Less than a month later, on 19 March, Qantas and Jetstar announced all international flights would be suspended from late March “until at least the end of May 2020”, following advice from the Australian government.
“Given the dynamic and uncertain nature of this situation, it is not possible to provide meaningful guidance at this time on the size of that impact on group earnings for the remainder of [the current fiscal year],” the company adds.