Qantas slashes flight capacity

SYDNEY, 18 March 2020: Due to falling travel demand and government restrictions linked to Covid-19 outbreak, Qantas and Jetstar will cut domestic and international capacity through to the end of May.

To be phased in from the end of March 2020 onwards total group international capacity will be cut by around 90%. This is up from a 23% reduction announced last week and largely reflects the demand impact of severe quarantine requirements on people’s ability to travel overseas.

Total group domestic capacity will be cut by around 60% until at least the end of May. This is a major increase from the 5% reduction for the fourth quarter of FY20 and reflects a rapid decline in travel demand.

The cuts will ground around 150 aircraft, including almost all of the group’s wide-body fleet.

The route-by-route detail of these changes across Qantas and Jetstar is currently being worked through and will be announced in coming days.

Despite the deep cuts, the national carrier’s critical role in transporting people and goods on key international, domestic, routes will be maintained. 

This includes using some domestic passenger aircraft for freight-only flights to replace lost capacity from scheduled services. Qantas’ fleet of freighters will continue to be fully used.

Travel demand is unlikely to rebound for weeks or possibly months, and the impact of this will be felt across the entire workforce of 30,000 people.

The Qantas Group is working to manage this impact as much as possible, including through the use of paid and unpaid leave. This will be in addition to measures already announced, including three months of no pay for the CEO and chairman, significant pay cuts for Group Executive Management and Board members, and cancelling of annual bonuses and an off-market buy-back.

Customers with existing bookings on any domestic or international flight until 31 May 2020, who no longer wish to travel, can cancel their flight and retain the value of the booking as a travel credit voucher. This needs to be processed by 31 March.

Customers who make a new domestic or international booking and later decide they no longer wish to travel, can cancel their flight and retain the value of the booking as a Qantas travel credit or Jetstar travel voucher.

This applies to bookings made from 10 March until 31 March for travel before 31 May 2020.

To access this offer: Qantas customers should visit Manage Booking on, select ‘Cancel’ and then ‘Voucher’.

 Jetstar customers should go to Manage My Booking on

If flights were booked through a travel agency or third-party website (For example, Webjet,, customers would need to contact them directly to make changes to their booking.