Airline Weekly

Daily Airline News

Virgin Australia Lays Out Plan for Future

Madhu Unnikrishnan
August 5th, 2020 at 2:46 PM EDT

Photo credit:  Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia is scaling back its international ambitions and simplifying its fleet, CEO Paul Scurrah said Aug. 5. The carrier will fly to 28 cities in Australia and add destinations as demand returns. It left the door open to resume international flights, but for now will serve only the Australian market.

International operations will be hard to do, now that Virgin Australia is going down to a single fleet type: Boeing 737-800s. The carrier will remove ATRs, Boeing 777s, Airbus A330, and Airbus A320s from its fleet. Virgin Australia is shuttering its Tigerair Australia brand but will retain the air operators certificate if future market conditions favor a separate ultra-low-cost carrier.

“Long-haul international operations are an important part of the Virgin Australia business,” Scurrah said. “However, given current international travel restrictions, the airline will continue to suspend flights to Los Angeles and Tokyo with the intention to recommence and grow long-haul flights when sufficient demand returns.”

The carrier expects domestic and shorthaul international demand to take two to three years to recover, with longhaul international travel possibly taking longer to return.

The company will reduce its staff by 3,000 employees as a result of the restructuring. It will have 6,000 employees when the process is complete, but hopes to grow to 8,000 as the economy recovers.

Virgin Australia entered administration earlier this year, and Bain Capital won a strongly contested auction to take control of the carrier.

In other Virgin Group-airline news, Virgin Atlantic, which began the process of restructuring last month, filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 15, a relatively new section of U.S. bankruptcy law, allows foreign companies undergoing restructuring in their own countries to protect their assets in the U.S. and gives them access to the U.S. court system.


Already a member?

Already a member?

Up Next


U.S. Airlines Expect Further Easing of China Flight Limits this Winter

U.S. and Chinese airlines are eager to resume nonstop flights between the two countries following a diplomatic accord in August doubling the number allowed. They have proposed 63 weekly flights…


KLM CEO Rebukes Dutch Proposal to Tax Transit Passengers at Schiphol

KLM CEO Marjan Rintel offered a firm rebuke of a proposal in the Netherlands' legislature to tax transfer passengers at the airline's hub, Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

Latin America

What Are Mexican Airlines to Do?

Mexico's airlines face two countervailing trends: the reopening of the U.S. to new growth countered by new restrictions at the country's busiest airport, Mexico City International. Edward Russell and Jay…


TUI Bullish on European Leisure Travel this Winter

TUI is bullish winter travel demand with bookings exhibiting “positive momentum," the European travel conglomerate said Thursday. The outlook comes after summer bookings came in well ahead of last summer's…

North America

U.S. Government Shutdown Could Worsen Air Traffic Controller Shortage

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had bleak words for House members Wednesday on the impact of a potential federal government shutdown to the country's air transportation system.

Exit mobile version