Australia’s flagship carrier Qantas has removed almost all of its international flights until March 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to batter the airline industry.
The carrier will only operate a few select flights to New Zealand, reports say. These particular flights are currently grounded and will stay grounded until mid-August.
It’s a telling revelation as airlines around the world continue to find new ways to stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis.
Some airlines, such as Chile's LATAM, Colombia's Avianca and Mexico’s Aeromexico, have already started the processes of filing for bankruptcy.
Qantas removing its inventory of international flights suggests that those routes are no longer bookable. Previously booked flights with the carrier have not been cancelled, according to reports.
'Years' to recover
Last March, as countries entered lockdown to halt the spread of COVID-19, Qantas announced the suspension of all of its international flights until October. Now it appears that the suspension has been extended into a full year.
In June, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce remarked that “it will take years before international flying returns to what it was.”
“We have to position ourselves for several years where revenue will be much lower. And that means becoming a smaller airline in the short term,” said Joyce.
Last month, Qantas announced that it is cutting around 6,000 jobs, which is about one fifth of its workforce.
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