Qantas is following the global trend, and has announced that they’ll be cutting capacity significantly in light of reduced demand.
Qantas cutting capacity by 23%
The Qantas Group has announced plans to cut international flying, as they’ll be reducing capacity by almost a quarter over the next six months.
As Qantas describes it, this comes as coronavirus has spread into Europe and North America, and has continued to spread in Asia, causing a sudden and significant drop in travel demand.
With these changes, total Qantas and Jetstar capacity will be reduced by 23% compared to the same time last year, with cuts lasting through mid-September 2020.
To break it down by region:
- Asia capacity is being reduced by 31%
- United States capacity is being reduced by 19%
- United Kingdom capacity is being reduced by 17%
- Trans-Tasman capacity is being reduced by 10%
Qantas is cutting overall capacity by 23%
Qantas grounding all but two A380s
Qantas is trying to avoid cutting routes altogether as much as possible, and instead is trying to use smaller planes and reduce frequencies in order to maintain service.
As part of this, Qantas will be grounding all but two of their 12 A380s:
- Eight Qantas A380s will be parked
- Two Qantas A380s will undergo heavy maintenance and cabin upgrades
Qantas isn’t the first airline to ground A380s during this tough time. Lufthansa will be grounding their entire fleet of A380s for a period of at least two months.
Qantas is grounding 10 of their A380s
Flights that Qantas is canceling & reducing
With 10 of 12 A380s being grounded, we can expect significant changes to Qantas’ route network. Some of the most noteworthy adjustments include the following:
- Qantas is delaying their new Brisbane to Chicago flight from mid-April to mid-September
- As of April 18, 2020, Qantas is suspending their 3x weekly Brisbane to Chicago route
- As of April 18, 2020, Qantas is suspending their 4x weekly Melbourne to San Francisco route
- As of April 20, 2020, Qantas’ Sydney to Dallas flight will be operated by a 787-9 rather than an A380
- As of April 20, 2020, Qantas will be replacing their A380 flight from Sydney to Singapore to London with a 787-9 flight from Sydney to Perth to London (meaning there will be two daily Perth to London flights)
- As of June 1, 2020, Qantas’ Melbourne to Los Angeles flight will be operated by a 787-9 rather than A380
Many Qantas A380 routes are being replaced by 787s
Qantas management taking pay cuts, hiring paused
In light of the situation, the company has announced cost reduction measures.
For the remainder of FY2020
- The Qantas Chairman will take no fees
- The Qantas Group CEO will take no salary
- The Qantas Board will take a 30% reduction in fees
- The Qantas Group Executive Management will take a 30% pay cut
On top of that:
- Qantas is freezing all non-essential recruitment and consultancy work
- Qantas and Jetstar are asking all employees to take paid or unpaid leave
Employees will be asked to take leave, given reduced flying
These are some drastic cuts on Qantas’ part, though they seem like appropriate measures.
It appears that Sydney to Los Angeles will be the only route to keep the A380 for now, as the Sydney to Dallas flight is downgraded to a 787, the Melbourne to Los Angeles flight is downgraded to a 787, and the London flight goes twice daily through Perth with 787s.
What do you make of Qantas’ approach to cutting capacity?