The Virgin Australia Group has announced a plan for a stronger, more profitable and competitive business and securing approximately 6000 jobs as it prepares to exit voluntary administration under the ownership of Bain Capital.
Virgin Australia Group CEO and Managing Director Paul Scurrah said together with Bain Capital, the plan will help to re-establish Virgin Australia as an iconic Australian airline, bringing strong competition for travellers while securing approximately 6,000 direct jobs and indirect employment for more than 30,000 Australians.
With efforts in resetting Virgin Australia to meet lower global and Australian demand, steps include:
- Reduction in cost base to meet sector uncertainty and COVID-19 market conditions
- Securing approximately 6,000 jobs when the market recovers with 3,000 roles impacted
- Simplified all-Boeing 737 mainline fleet and the retention of the regional and charter fleet, but removing ATR, Boeing 777, Airbus A330 and Tigerair Airbus A320 aircraft types.
- Long-haul international flying important part of plan but suspended until global travel market recovers
- Tigerair Australia brand discontinued with Air Operator Certificate (AOC) retained to provide option for ultra-low-cost operations when market recovers.
- Continued commitment to regional and charter flying.
- Virgin Australia plan to provide customers with the value of travel credits post administration with validity dates extended for bookings made prior to administration
“Our aviation and tourism sectors face continued uncertainty in the face of COVID-19 with many Australian airports recording passenger numbers less than three per cent of last year and ongoing changes to government travel restrictions,” Mr Scurrah says.
“Demand for domestic and short-haul international travel is likely to take at least three years to return to pre-COVID-19 levels, with the real chance it could be longer, which means as a business we must make changes to ensure the Virgin Australia Group is successful in this new world.”
Virgin Australia expects the changes announced to impact approximately 3,000 roles, with many ‘tough decisions’ mentioned.
“However, our intention is to secure approximately 6,000 jobs when the market recovers with aspirations for up to 8,000 in the future. To those that leave the business, I want to thank them for the role they’ve played in making this a great airline,” Mr Scurrah says.
“They will be closely supported through our alumni program, have all their entitlements honoured and be provided with a two-year extension of employee travel benefits and early access to retiree and long service benefits.”