SYDNEY, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Virgin Australia airlines will further slashes its domestic capacity due to new travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In its statement to the ASX on Wednesday, the company said it would extend domestic capacity reduction from 50 percent to 90 percent, including the suspension of Tigerair Australia domestic services effective immediately. The remaining 10 percent of the domestic capacity would be retained for transportation of essential services, critical freight and logistics.
The suspension of most of Virgin domestic flying will take effect from midnight of March 27 until June 14. The company has already announced suspension of international flying from March 30 to June 14.
The statement came after escalating state border closures across Australia. Five out of eight states and territories of Australia including Tasmania, Northern Territory, South Australia, West Australia and Queensland have implemented restrictions on interstate travel.
"There has never been a travel environment in Australia as restricted as the one we see today and the extraordinary steps we've taken have been in response to the federal and state governments' latest travel advice," said Virgin Australia CEO and Managing Director Paul Scurrah in the statement.
The company said guests who are booked to travel between now and June 30 of this year could request a travel credit online through the website of Virgin Australia.
The further reduction of the domestic capacity means the company has to temporarily suspend services to 19 Australian destinations currently operated by it, and it will maintain connectivity to 17 destinations to transport essential services, critical freight and logistics.
As for the people affected, the company said it would temporarily stand down about 8000 of the company's 10,000 work force until at least the end of May to preserve future jobs.