Qantas grounds eight A380s until mid-September

©Qantas

The Qantas Group has announced further cuts to its international flying, reducing capacity by almost a quarter for the next six months.

The latest cuts follow the spread of the coronavirus into Europe and North America over the past fortnight, as well as its continued spread through Asia, which has resulted in a sudden and significant drop in forward travel demand.

These additional changes will bring the total international capacity reduction for Qantas and Jetstar from 5% to 23% versus the same time last year and extend these cuts until mid-September 2020.

The biggest reductions remain focussed on Asia (now down 31% compared with the same period last year). Capacity reductions to the United States (down 19%), the U.K. (down 17%) and Trans-Tasman (down 10%) will also be made in line with forward booking trends.

Rather than exit routes altogether, Qantas will use smaller aircraft and reduce the frequency of flights to maintain overall connectivity. This approach results in eight of the airline’s largest aircraft, the Airbus A380, grounded until mid-September. A further two A380s are undergoing scheduled heavy maintenance and cabin upgrades, leaving two of its A380s flying.

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