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Virgin Australia (ASX:VAH) - Chief Executive, Paul Scurrah - The Market Herald
Chief Executive, Paul Scurrah
Image sourced: The Australian
  • Virgin Australia (VAH) will cut all of its domestic travel except for a single daily flight
  • This decision is the latest from the company after axing international travel and eliminating 8000 jobs from its books last month
  • The airline will be operating a Sydney to Melbourne return trip every day, as well as continuing to assist the Australian Government in bringing citizens home
  • Virgin's cutback will be effective immediately, and is expected to run until Monday June 15
  • Shares in the company gained 6.17 per cent on the Australian market on Thursday, closing at 8.6 cents each

After cutting its list of flight schedules drastically, Virgin Australia (VAH) will now run a single flight on its daily schedule.

The airline will operate a Sydney-Melbourne return flight every day, shuttering the rest of its domestic routes.

Since COVID-19 started to rattle the airline industry, Virgin Australia was among those cutting costs to save every dollar. Last month, the airline severed international flights entirely and shaved domestic flights by half.

This week's major change by Virgin is effective immediately, commencing from Friday, April 10.

Virgin Australia Chief Operations Officer, Stuart Aggs, says the cutback will remain until Monday June 15.

"Since our last capacity reduction announcement we have seen demand all but dry up, and our load factors are very low", the COO wrote in an email to staff.

"As you know, we are doing everything we can to preserve our cash balance, and given we are seeing little to no demand on our existing skeleton schedule, it is appropriate that we reduce our capacity further," Stuart explained.

"As soon as demand returns and the border restrictions are relaxed, we stand ready to ramp back up to demand, which I know everyone is keen to do," he continued.

Since demand in interstate and international travel came to a near-halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, Virgin Australia has requested $1.9 billion in Government assistance.

The airline will continue to operate cargo transport in Australia and abroad, as well in assisting the Australian Government to bring citizens back home from London, Hong Kong, Auckland, and Los Angeles.

However, Western Australia is amidst an official State of Emergency, with Premier Mark McGowan shutting its borders last week for the first time in history.

Mid-March saw Virgin Australia slash 8000 jobs from its books with no further cuts announced this week despite the near total-shutdown.

Since the cutbacks, upper management at Virgin have cancelled their own bonuses and taken a 15 per cent reduction in salary.

Despite the major news, Virgin Australia gained 6.17 per cent on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Shares in the company closed at 8.6 cents each on Thursday.


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