Qantas Airways (ASX: QAN) has cancelled almost all of its international flights until March of 2021 amid the global pandemic. According to Executive Traveller, Qantas decided to only keep flights to New Zealand going starting September 1.
Clearing out flight inventory means that no bookings will be made, though previously booked flights remain on schedule. Flights to the U.S., Asia and Europe will be serviced by partner airlines such as Emirates, British Airways and Cathay Pacific.
The news comes after the Australian airline cut over 6,000 jobs, 20% of its total workforce. CEO Alan Joyce told Australian media that he did not foresee the airline back in full service until July of 2021. Furthermore, Qantas announced in June that it would at once be retiring its six Boeing 747 aircrafts.
“We have never experienced anything like this before – no-one has. All airlines are in the biggest crisis our industry has ever faced,” said a Qantas spokesman in June.
Due to the ongoing struggles the airline’s stock has plummeted over 50% compared to last year.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham believes Australia’s borders will remain closed for another four or so months. However, he mentioned that it was possible for the government to make exceptions for students and other long-term visitors.
“We have to position ourselves for several years when revenue will be much lower,” Joyce said in a statement in June that touched on a roadmap to rebuild the airline. “And this means becoming a much smaller airline in the short term.”