Qantas extends flight cancellations, more pain for 20,000 staff

Qantas has secured $550 million in debt funding as the airline extended flight cancellations through to the end of July.

Qantas extends flight cancellations, more pain for 20,000 staff

Qantas has secured $550 million in debt funding as the airline extended flight cancellations through to the end of July.

In an announcement to the ASX, Qantas said it has "sufficient liquidity to respond to a range of recovery scenarios, including one where the current trading conditions persist until at least December 2021".

With its domestic and international routes decimated by the coronavirus, Qantas is predicting a net cash burn rate of $40 million per week to the end of June.

The current stand down of 20,000 employees will now be extended until at least the end of June, because of the downturn.

"With the possible exception of New Zealand, international travel demand could take years to return to what it was," Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said.

Do you know more? Are you affected? Email msaunoko@nine.com.au

"We're expecting demand recovery to be gradual and it will be some time before total demand reaches pre-crisis levels."

Fleet, network and capital expenditure would all have to be reviewed, the Qantas boss said.

Mr Joyce said the airline was in a very strong position, thanks to a "a balance sheet that has taken years to build".

Yesterday total short-term liquidity at the airline was $3.5 billion, including a $1 billion undrawn facility.

The $550 million in new debt funding has been secured against three of its wholly-owned Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

This follows the $1.05 billion raised in March against seven 787-9s.

"The Group currently has $2.7 billion in unencumbered aircraft assets and can raise funds against these if required," the Qantas statement read.

Qantas said flight capacity can be added back if domestic and Trans-Tasman restrictions ease in coming weeks.

The Qantas Group is currently operating around 5 per cent of its pre-crisis domestic passenger network and around 1 per cent of its international network.

Qantas and Jetstar's existing domestic and Trans-Tasman flight cancellations will now run to the end of June.

International flight cancellations will be extended through to end-July.

Qantas aircraft are seen on the tarmac at Sydney Airport.

Qantas Freight reported "high volumes" and "strong revenue" for March and April.

Its 12 dedicated freighters and the airline's passenger A330 and B787 aircraft are being used to move cargo to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo, facilitating export of Australian produce and import of medical supplies.

The domestic freighter network has seen high volumes due to e-commerce, with demand in recent weeks above the peak levels normally associated with Christmas.

Do you know more? Are you affected? Email msaunoko@nine.com.au

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Source : 9 News More   

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Australian Apple stores to re-open Thursday

Apple's 21 retail stores across Australia will re-open on Thursday after more than 7 weeks locked shut during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australian Apple stores to re-open Thursday

Apple's 21 retail stores across Australia will re-open on Thursday after more than 7 weeks locked shut during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Company CEO Tim Cook foreshadowed the move ahead of last week's quarterly earnings call saying stores would re-open in Australia within one to two weeks.

9News can confirm today the Australian stores will re-open this Thursday at 10am.

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A spokesperson for Apple Australia told 9News: "We're excited to begin welcoming visitors back to our Australia stores later this week. We've missed our customers and look forward to offering our support."

"With many Australians working and learning from home, our initial focus will be providing service and support at the Genius Bar.

"To start, we will open with additional safety procedures including temperature checks, social distancing, and an adjusted schedule, to ensure customers and employees continue to stay healthy.

"Our social distance protocol means a limited number of visitors in the store at one time so there may be a delay for walk-in customers. We recommend, where possible, customers buy online for delivery or in-store pick-up.

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Apple's flagship store in Sydney will remain closed for renovations.

"As always, our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19 and those working around the clock to treat, study, and contain its spread."

Things won't be anything like "normal" at Apple Stores though, with temperature checks for customers before entry meaning there won't be the normal waltz in and casually browse around.

Likewise, it's unlikely you'll be able to walk in and get an appointment at the "Genius Bar" for technical help.

Instead, Apple is recommending booking appointments for technical support, and ordering online for in-store pickups for new purchases.

Over the last seven weeks, Apple's entire support and sales model has been turned on its head. Support has been focused on phone and online chat, with a "mail-in" service option for products.

Sales have shifted entirely online though the company reported record quarterly sales in their Retail earnings for the quarter which ended with stores closed for three weeks.

Expect queues, though many will welcome the face-to-face technical support Apple offers in its retail stores and likely happily wait in line.

A very different queue for Apple used to people lining up around the block for new iPhone launches.

Apple's flagship Sydney store will remain closed - it has been undergoing a renovation, well before the COVID-19 closers kicked in.

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