The Qantas Group has slashed its domestic network, leaving only three aircraft flying: a Boeing 737 for Qantas, a Dash 8 for QantasLink and an Airbus A320 for Jetstar.

With some flights carrying barely more than a couple of passengers, this does not come as a surprise and is a prudent move to ensure that cash burn is minimised.

If you have a booking for a domestic Qantas flight for travel up until 31 July, you may be entitled to a cash refund. Go to Manage My Booking to see if you can process online; if not, you’ll need to contact the airline. There is more information on getting your money back in this guide.

Virgin Australia

Meanwhile, Australia’s second-largest carrier has announced have suspended all domestic operations except for one daily flight between Sydney and Melbourne. This comes after Virgin Australia axed all international flights last month.

In a media release, they said:

The Group will continue to operate a daily service between Melbourne and Sydney, except Saturday, but will temporarily suspend other passenger flying from Friday 10 April 2020 while restrictions remain in place. We continue to support the Australian Government with flights between Los Angeles and Hong Kong to help bring Australians home and maintain important freight links in and out of the country.

How to earn Velocity points by shopping online through the Velocity eStore
Virgin Australia is cutting all flights except for one daily (except Saturdays) between Sydney and Melbourne

The (almost-complete) suspension of flights is expected to remain in place until at least 15 June.

If you have a booking for a domestic Virgin Australia flight for travel up until 15 June, you may be entitled to a cash refund. Go to Manage My Booking to see if you can process online; if not, you’ll need to contact the airline. There is more information on getting your money back in this guide.

In positive news for both Qantas and Virgin Australia, however, the Deputy Prime Minister is in talks with both airlines about subsidising domestic flights to ensure that a limited domestic network remains in place for all essential travel.

Mr McCormack said:

I spent the weekend talking about that very thing with Virgin, with Qantas, trying to make sure that we’ve got the trunk routes between capital cities.

Our original guide to COVID-19 route cancellations follows.


A guide to route cancellations by key airlines flying to and from Australia

COVID-19 really is having a negative impact on the aviation industry, with travellers holding off on making forward bookings. As such, both Australian and international airlines flying here are cutting flights over the next couple of months.

In this guide, I outline which airlines are suspending which routes, and how to change your flight if you have an existing booking. This guide does not cover service reductions, e.g. Sydney – Los Angeles dropping from daily to 5x weekly. That would be too cumbersome to collate. Rather, I focus exclusively on route cancellations altogether.

This guide is being continually updated with new announcements.

What should I do if I need to change my flight?

Read this guide for information on getting a free date change or refund, and how to get in contact with your airline or frequent flyer program in the quickest way.

You need to contact whomever you bought the ticket through, whether that’s the airline directly, a frequent flyer program, or an (in-person or online) travel agent.

For example, say I had a ticket to fly on Delta. If I booked directly with Delta, I would contact Delta. If I used Velocity Points to book my flight, I would contact Velocity. Finally, if I booked through a travel agent like Expedia, I would contact Expedia.

Index of airlines

Qantas & Jetstar

International flights

Regularly scheduled international flights will continue until late March (around 25-27th) to assist with repatriation and will then be suspended until at least the end of May 2020.

Qantas plane

Domestic flights

Connectivity will be maintained to almost all Australian domestic and regional destinations that Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar currently operate to.

However, there will be a 60% reduction in capacity. It will come mostly from a significant reduction in flight frequency but also route suspensions and postponing a number of new route launches. For example, Sydney – Melbourne will see a drop from 250 to 88 return services per week.

You can check if your flight is affected here.

You can read more about route changes in general in the Qantas Newsroom.

Some Qantas lounges close

Qantas is closing all of its international and some of its domestic lounges. More on that here.

Qantas Domestic Business Lounge Melbourne | Point Hacks

Virgin Australia

Domestic flights

Virgin Australia has suspended (almost) all domestic flights effective 10 April. The only service running is a daily (except Saturdays) flight between Sydney and Melbourne.

Tigerair has also temporarily grounded all its fleet as of 25 March.

You can read more about these changes in the Virgin Australia Newsroom.

International flights

Virgin Australia has suspended all international services until 14 June 2020. These will affect services from Australia to:

  • New Zealand
  • Pacific Islands
  • Bali
  • Tokyo
  • Los Angeles
Virgin Australia A330 Business Class inflight entertainment screen
Virgin Australia’s two flights to Hong Kong have already been cut

Emirates

As of 25 March, the Dubai-based carrier has suspended all flights around the world, including those from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Emirates A380 at Melbourne Airport
Emirates has suspended operations completely

Etihad

Like fellow Emirati airline Emirates, Velocity partner Etihad Airways has suspended all of its flights as of 25 March. That includes service from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane

Etihad A380 Business Class seats
All Etihad planes are grounded

Singapore Airlines & SilkAir

Flights to Singapore are suspended from Adelaide, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, and Perth until the end of April and on most dates through to 1 June.

Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class - BNE-SIN IFE screen

There are very limited flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Singapore.

Malaysia Airlines

This oneworld member is suspending flights to Kuala Lumpur from:

  • Sydney, Melbourne and Perth until 30 April
  • Brisbane and Adelaide until 31 May

and to Kota Kinabalu from:

  • Perth until 30 June
Malaysia Airlines plane

Japan Airlines

Qantas partner Japan Airlines will cut its two Australian services, from Sydney and Melbourne to Tokyo, from 31 March until at least 30 April.

JAL planes

Cathay Pacific

Flights to Hong Kong from Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide are suspended, whilst Sydney will drop to only three flights per week.

Some useful tips on booking award seats with Asia Miles

Fiji Airways

Qantas partner Fiji Airways has suspended all of its international flights except to Singapore until 31 May. This includes service to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Fiji Airways usually flies to three Australian destinations

Air New Zealand

New Zealand’s flag carrier will cut all routes except the following from 30 March to 30 June:

  • Sydney – Auckland
  • Sydney – Wellington
  • Sydney – Christchurch
  • Melbourne – Auckland
  • Brisbane – Auckland
Air New Zealand lounge Sydney
Air New Zealand is paring back its operations as New Zealand’s borders close

THAI

KrisFlyer partner and Star Alliance member THAI has suspended flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to Bangkok until 30 June and reduced frequencies from 1 July onwards.

THAI planes on tarmac
All four of THAI’s Australian routes have been cut

United Airlines

KrisFlyer partner and Star Alliance member United will suspend all its Australian flights, with the exception of flights UA863 and UA870 between Sydney and San Francisco.

Suspended flights include Sydney – Los Angeles, Melbourne – Los Angeles and Sydney – Houston and Melbourne – San Francisco flights.

United Polaris Lounge SFO entrance
United has also closed all of its Polaris Lounges

The suspension of flights begins 23 March and will last until at least 3 May 2020.

Delta Air Lines

Velocity partner and SkyTeam member Delta has suspended its only Australian route, Sydney – Los Angeles, until 13 April.

Delta planes on LAX tarmac
Delta’s Sydney – Los Angeles flight has been suspended

American Airlines

Qantas partner and oneworld member American Airlines will suspend its only Australian route, Sydney – Los Angeles, until October.

American Airlines 787 Business Class seat
AA’s Dreamliner service to Los Angeles is being put on hold

Hawaiian Airlines

Velocity partner Hawaiian Airlines will suspend its flights to Honolulu from Sydney from 22 March to 30 April, and from Brisbane from 23 March to 31 May.

Hawaiian Airlines A330 Business Class
Hawaiian Airlines’ A330 services from Sydney and Brisbane are being suspended for the time being

Air Canada

This Star Alliance airline has three Australian routes from Vancouver:

  • Sydney suspended from 11-30 April
  • Melbourne suspended until 27 November (!)
  • Brisbane suspended from 27 March until 30 April

Qatar Airways

Out of the five Australian destinations that this oneworld airline services, only the Adelaide – Doha route has been suspended until 31 March. Other cities have seen a reduction in frequency.

British Airways

This Qantas partner is suspending its only Australian route, Sydney – Singapore, from 9-30 April.

South African Airways

This Star Alliance member only serves one Australian route, Perth – Johannesburg. It’s suspended until 31 May.

EVA Air

This Taiwanese airline, part of Star Alliance, only serves one Australian route, Brisbane – Taipei, with a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.

This route is being suspended until 30 April 2020.

Summing up

It’s a shame to see both airlines and travellers suffering from service cuts. However, they seem to be necessary to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Hopefully, these changes do not drag on.

If you are booked on one of these affected routes, it’s best to try to organise a date change or refund online through the airline’s website or via private message on Facebook or Twitter. Or else you may be on the phone for hours.

COVID-19 Related Articles

Qantas cuts domestic network to just three planes with government support was last modified: April 14th, 2020 by Matt Moffitt

Supplementary images courtesy respective airlines.

Qantas cuts domestic network to just three planes with government support was last modified: April 14th, 2020 by Matt Moffitt