Virgin wields axe as BA faces oblivion


Victoria's lockdown and border closures have taken a toll on Virgin Australia.

The airline has revealed that a post-COVID-19 rally won't be possible, and informed staff that as many as 250 jobs will need to be cut.

According to The Australian, a note was circulated to staff on Monday in which Virgin chief executive Paul Scurrah described the current economic climate caused by the coronavirus pandemic as "the worst crisis" it had ever faced.

"Our cash management throughout this period is absolutely critical," Mr Scurrah wrote.


Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah says the company is facing its “worst crisis” ever as hundreds more jobs are on the chopping block. Picture: Photo: Glenn Hunt / The Australian
Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah says the company is facing its “worst crisis” ever as hundreds more jobs are on the chopping block. Picture: Photo: Glenn Hunt / The Australian

"One of our largest costs is labour, and with much less transitionary work required as the administration process is coming to an end and without the revenue coming through the door, we simply cannot justify the number of team members who are currently stood up."

These redundancies are the second since the airline fell into administration in April in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic's decimation of the travel sector.

Earlier this month Virgin had estimated that it would need to make a third of its workforce redundant in order to survive.

Mr Scurrah revealed that those 3,000 staff members would be furloughed until March 2021, a decision that would be under review in January.



The 250 jobs on the chopping block are all in head office with another 150 roles impacted by necessary cuts to make the operation "smaller, simpler".

"The reality is this will also have the regrettable impact of further job losses," he wrote.

It comes as Virgin last week permanently shut down its budget brand, Tigerair after 13 years.

Virgin will scale down its fleet to mostly Boeing 737s instead of Airbuses.

Mr Scurrah said the impact of government decisions to contain the pandemic "continue to subdue demand for flying".

While government subsidies account for some of the airline's infrastructure remaining stable, the over outlook "has never been less certain," wrote Mr Scurrah.

"Regrettably, we must again take action to address the impact of this ongoing crisis on our business," he said.



Meanwhile, one of England's iconc airlines has warned that it won't survive the pandemic unless the government introduces COVID-testing at airports instead of harsh quarantines rules, claims the airline boss.

Alex Cruz explained that the airline is "fighting for survival" after lockdown travel restrictions and border closures saw travel plummet and damage the industry.


According to The Sun, Mr Cruz penned a plea for help in The Telegraph: "British Airways can survive, but only if the Government will work with us, rather than against us."

He added that the airline slashed operations to five per cent at the height of the pandemic, and now functions at just 30 per cent.

operated at just five per cent schedule in March, April and May, which has still only increased to 30 per cent now.

"Thirty other countries have introduced airport testing to unlock the problem, so my question to the Government is, why can't we?" wrote Mr Cruz.

The travel industry is calling for an end to the quarantine restrictions which have all but destroyed the travel sector.

If quarantine is not scrapped, an estimated 110,000 jobs will be lost.

BA has already warned of 12,000 job losses, and have axed more than 2,000 from their catering firm Do & Co.

Mr Cruz added: "I am doing everything in my power to keep British Airways flying. Others are doing the same. But we need help."










Originally published as Virgin wields axe as BA faces oblivion