Qantas has announced it will offer travel credit to customers if they cancel booked flights by the end of May.
In a Facebook post on the official Qantas page, the airline says it will do everything possible to support customers in an uncertain period.
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“We know that many people’s travel plans have been affected by the spread of coronavirus and various government travel restrictions,” Qantas writes on social media.
“This situation is unprecedented, is evolving and is challenging everyone involved. Although this is beyond our control, we do everything we can to support our customers.
“As of today, we offer customers who have tickets for domestic and international travel the opportunity to cancel their booking and retain the value as travel credit. The offer is valid until March 31 for trips booked until May 31, 2020 and applies to all Qantas and QantasLink services. “
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Travel industry under siege
The consequences of the corona virus have spread throughout the Pacific. Travel companies in Australia and New Zealand issued profit warnings when US airlines hurried to cut flights to Europe.
President Donald Trump’s US travel restrictions across much of continental Europe, announced Wednesday evening, exacerbated the misery of the sector, which began in China after the virus hit the end of last year and reduced traffic.
United Airlines warned of disruptions in the US as the virus spreads domestically and major tourist attractions such as Walt Disney’s theme parks in California and Florida have announced their closure.
Several Latin American countries have stepped up their efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus and stop flights to and from Europe. More than $ 825 million ($ 1.3 billion) was wiped off the value of listed Indian airlines on Thursday after the government announced plans to restrict visiting visas.
The International Air Transport Association, a global industry group representing airlines, urged governments to consider extending credit lines, lowering infrastructure costs, and lowering taxes.
Virgin Australia, Auckland International Airport and Australian Flight Center Travel Group announced that they are impacting revenue due to lower demand for travel, which included an 18 percent drop in international passengers at Auckland Airport in the first 10 days of March would.
Virgin Australia, Australia’s second largest airline, said it would offer discounted fares and cut some flights from Sydney to Los Angeles as demand for trans-Pacific travel decreased. The airline’s share price hit record lows.
“You will see that we continue to be very disciplined and competent as the situation progresses,” said Paul Scurrah, CEO of Virgin Australia, and repeated similar comments from rival Qantas earlier this week.
Virgin and Flight Center have joined a growing list of travel companies where executives are cutting salaries and offering unpaid leave to their employees due to lower demand and weaker economic conditions.
“In this uncertain environment, our priority is to cut costs while ensuring that we and our employees are ready to capitalize when the major discounts in most travel categories become more important as the trading cycle recovers,” he said The management of the flight center director Graham Turner said in a statement.
The agency’s shares fell 17 percent on Friday after it dropped its earnings forecast.
Airline stocks in Asia were also affected, with Singapore Airlines stocks falling 8 percent in early trading and Japanese ANA Holdings and Japan Airlines falling more than 10 percent after also falling Thursday.
– Additional reporting from Jamie Freed and Tracy Rucinski.