Virgin Australia slashes 3,000 jobs

The slimmed-down Virgin Australia, purchased by Bain Capital in June, has announced that it will slash 3,000 jobs – roughly one-third of its former 9,000 strong workforce:

The private equity firm’s plan for the airline sees the end of the Tiger Australia brand, although Virgin Australia said it would retain the air operator certificate so it could revive a low-cost carrier when the domestic holiday travel market fully recovered…

Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah said the airline had no choice but to shrink to survive amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” he said in a statement…

Mr Scurrah said the airline plans to employ around 6,000 people “when the market recovers, with aspirations for up to 8,000 in the future”.

However, many of those 6,000 staff who are currently stood down will remain on JobKeeper payments until those expire in March next year.

Their pay will be reduced in October, when the level of JobKeeper payment for full-time workers falls from $1,500 to $1,200, while part-time staff payments will halve to $750.

The job losses are better than expected. In July, Virgin flagged that half of its jobs would be axed.

Leith van Onselen
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  1. The question is …. where do those 3,000 go? Were any temp visa holders – those can go home. But the Australians will need a new gig in this economy which is going into the first real recession in so long that businesses don’t know how to react. I feel for those impacted.

    • Vladimir Guerrero

      I await announcement of the government’s new FruitKeeper and Joberoo programs, so that these Australians can replace temporary residents in the workforce.

    • Not going to be easy, a friend of a friend, pilot (at Qantas if I remember) killed himself last week at 26

      • No way! So young. I felt like that post needed to come with the standard Lifeline disclaimer.

        • I don’t understand either. Makes no sense because:

          Demand for air travel is growing so rapidly that 800000 new pilots are expected to be needed over the next 20 years

          • He probably thought the world had changed for good and that his dreams of having a full career as a pilot were doomed. Who knows — there has been a lot of suicide among young males in recent years. I know a guy who works as a recruitment consultant who has had 2 clients of his end it all — one of them with a girlfriend and young child.

      • That’s tragic. Such a horrific waste of potential.

        I would never say that suicide isn’t a valid option but we do need to remember that Covid is not the end of theworld and while or worldwill look different in the other side of this whole awful experiencethese lockdowns are still temporary no matter how permanent they may feel now. I also think that suicide and mental health issues are why our federal and state governments should have a conversation with the people so we can decide whether or not we should go for suppression or elimination. Being able to vote on an issue like this would be useful

        • Aussies Can't Socially Distance

          Let’s not forget either that before Wuhan Virus ever came along people in the developed world went about their lives with the threat of diseases everyday, a lot of the world lives off $5 per day (or less) yet are grateful because they aren’t going to bed hungry.

          First world problems topping yourself because you lost your dream job.

          • Yeah I know. 17 years in China gave me a close up on a very different perspective on life which I value greatly, but most people compare themselves to their contemporaries, not the rest of the world’s population or even the most disadvantaged group in their society. I don’t judge people for killing themselves, I reserve the right to do that myself if I want under certain circumstances, but I think that it is still a tragic waste regardless of human potential regardless of who that person is and how privileged or not they were. And it is a sad indictment of the society and the people involved in that person’s life that they/we weren’t able to prevent it.

      • I worked at Ansett and after they stopped flying there were quite a few people there who did the same thing. Working for an airline is more than just a job. It’s a passion and something that when it’s gone a lot of people never get over.

      • Locus of ControlMEMBER

        Sorry to hear that Dam, that’s a tragedy.

        To be frank, if there’s any profession that warrants dedicated mental health support it’s pilots. I would have thought the airline industry would have gone the extra mile to offer airline pilots in particular mental health support, especially after the missing Malaysia Airlines plane debacle and that incident in the Alps a few years later…

    • Hospitality and retail jobs are covered by New Australians. New Australians hiring New Australians.

  2. Bain got it for nothing thanks to our outdated bankruptcy laws, they are only injecting K and will add debt.To be fair, like most modern businesses, Virgin leases everything/owns nothing but goodwill

    • You can hardly complain — buyers weren’t falling over themselves to buy what was, even pre-Covid, a struggling business. 6,000 jobs were saved (for now) – isn’t that a good thing?

  3. BoomToBustMEMBER

    No need to loose any airline jobs, task the Police with hunting down the illegal immigrants and post them home, plenty of plane loads full of people. While you are at it, anyone working illegally ie students etc. Perfect time for a shake out.

    • if only…but Scomo and his vested interest cuunty mates don’t want fewer warm bodies, they demand MOAR!

  4. “If you’re not on Jobseeker, Jobkeeper, or a public servant, then frankly, you’re not Australian” – The Hon Scott Morrison, 2020.

    • Aussies Can't Socially Distance

      International leisure travel when it does resume will be only for the 1% or 0.001%.

      We’re only 5 months into this as well. We have decades for this to play out LOL.

  5. Don’t worry the government will create jobs. As I read in today’s paper lets build a toll road to a new airport since that’s the best thing to build right now – that will save the economy at the highest priority Australian project to save us from COVID because aviation activity will make it all worth it …

    May even use MMT to pay for that! (as opposed to something actually productive like water infrastructure, etc in the new normal).

    There are going to be big job losses and I don’t see any hope on the horizon in terms of productive spending that would actually position us to benefit from the changing landscape. The political complex in this country seems to be stuck in old ways of thinking, and trying to prop up old ideas/industries with more job losses and misallocation of resources probably out of corruption rather than spending to position us well for the future job wise.

  6. Arthur Schopenhauer

    Isn’t it about time for “The Fast Train 🚊“ nation building project to be announced?
    There’s a lot of social distancing to be had in 2000km of track.