Qantas and Jetstar are suspending international flights from the end of the month.

The move has been triggered by the public health response to the coronavirus crisis although there would be some ''ad hoc'' services possible.

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The Qantas group is also standing down two-thirds of its 30,000 strong workforce.


The will be a 60 per cent reduction to domestic flights in Australia and Jetstar will cut services in New Zealand to a fraction of what they are now.

About 20,000 Qantas and Jetstar staff will be stood down during that time. Qantas said in a statement to the ASX this morning the decision was made to "preserve as many jobs as possible longer term".

It's understood staff will be able to use annual and long service leave but some staff will have to endure leave without pay, reported.

"Employees with low leave balances at the start of the stand down will be able to access up to four weeks' leave in advance of earning it," the statement from Qantas said.

"Unfortunately, periods of leave without pay for some employees are inevitable."

It follows Virgin Australia announcing yesterday it was suspending all its international services due to coronavirus.

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Earlier this week, cuts to 90 per cent of international flying and about 60 per cent of domestic flying were announced by Qantas and Jetstar.

With the Federal Government now recommending against all overseas travel from Australia, regularly scheduled international flights will continue until late March to assist with repatriation and will then be suspended until at least the end of May 2020.


Qantas is in ongoing discussions with the Federal Government about continuation of some strategic links.

More than 150 aircraft will be temporarily grounded, including all of Qantas' A380s, 747s and B787-9s and Jetstar's B787-8s. Discussions are progressing with airports and government about parking for these aircraft.

Essential domestic, regional and freight connections will be maintained as much as possible.

Jetstar Auckland-Christchurch flights will fall to 14 return services per week, down from 42 and in updated information said this afternoon that it would retain Auckland-Wellington flights (also down to 14 return services per week from 42.)

Suspended are Auckland-Dunedin, Auckland-Queenstown, Wellington-Queenstown and Wellington-Christchurh fights.

The virus was having a devastating impact on all airlines, said Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce.

"We're in a strong financial position right now, but our wages bill is more than $4 billion a year. With the huge drop in revenue we're facing, we have to make difficult decisions to guarantee the future of the national carrier.

With 150 aircraft on the ground there was no work for most of the staff.

''Rather than lose these highly skilled employees who we'll need when this crisis passes, we are instead standing down two-thirds of our 30,000 employees until at least the end of May."

Most staff would be using various types of paid leave during this time.

"This is a very hard set of circumstances for our people, as it is for lots of parts of the community right now.''