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The number of Qantas and Jetstar flights will be slashed in response to the coronavirus

James Hennessy
  • Qantas Group has announced cuts to Qantas and Jetstar flights due to coronavirus fears.
  • Across both airlines, flights from Australia to Asia – as well as intra-Asia flights – are affected.
  • The company also announced a slight reduction in domestic flights to "better meet demand".
  • Visit Business Insider Australia's homepage for more stories.

The Qantas Group has announced it is temporarily reducing the number of overall Qantas and Jetstar flights to Asia due to coronavirus concerns.

The announcement was made as part of the company's half-yearly earnings, in which a 5% reduction in flights between Australia and New Zealand was also announced.

Qantas will cut its Asia capacity by 16% until at least the end of May, which will affect flights between Australia and mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore. The number of weekly flights between Sydney and Hong Kong, for example, will be halved from 14 to 7.

Jetstar will cut its Asia capacity by 14% until at least the end of May, which will affect flights from Australia to Japan and Thailand, as well as intra-Asia flights. The Jetstar airlines in Asia have suspended all flights to mainland China.

You can read the full list of reduced flight routes here.

“Coronavirus resulted in the suspension of our flights to mainland China and we’re now seeing some secondary impacts with weaker demand on Hong Kong, Singapore and to a lesser extent Japan," Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement. "Other key routes, like the US and UK, haven’t been impacted."

“The capacity we’re taking out is the equivalent of grounding 18 aircraft across Qantas and Jetstar until the end of May, which in turn impacts about 700 full time roles," Joyce added.

"To avoid job losses we’ll be using leave balances across our workforce of 30,000 and freezing recruitment to help ride this out. We’ll also take advantage of having some aircraft on the ground by bringing forward planned maintenance."

Qantas Group also announced a general reduction in domestic flights within Australia to "better meet demand". Total domestic capacity will be reduced by 2.3%, with cancellations largely focused on travel between capital cities in off-peak times.