Virgin to retrench 3000 employees, ditch TigerAir brand


Virgin Australia will shed about 3000 jobs and cull its low-cost subsidiary Tigerair Australia, it announced this morning.

The job cuts affect about one third of the Brisbane-based airline's workforce.

The company will also suspend all long-haul international flights, and will transition to a single Boeing 737 fleet for domestic and short-haul international travel.

"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," chief executive Paul Scurrah said.

"Our initial focus will be on investing in the core Virgin Australia domestic and short-haul international operation alongside our 10-million-member strong Velocity Frequent Flyer program, continuing to offer an extensive network of destinations, a domestic lounge network and value for money for customers."

About 9000 jobs with the airline have been hanging in the balance after it went into voluntary administration in April with a debt pile of close to $7 billion.

Today's announcement comes ahead of a meeting later this month in which creditors will vote on American private equity firm Bain Capital's proposal to buy the embattled airline.

The airline's move to a single Boeing 737 fleet means it will ditch its Boeing 777, Airbus A330 and A320 aircraft.

Today's announcement spells the end of Tigerair Australia, Virgin's low-cost subsidiary, which has been entirely grounded during the pandemic.

More to come.


Originally published as Virgin to reveal fate of 9000 workers