Virgin Australia suspends ALL international flights due to coronavirus

Virgin Australia suspends ALL international flights for at least three months due to the killer coronavirus pandemic

Virgin Australia will suspend all of its international flights due to the coronavirus outbreak.

All flights scheduled from March 30 to June 14 have been immediately cancelled, grounding around 53 aircraft.

The airline is also taking the drastic step to slash the number of domestic flights by 50 per cent, also until June 14.

It means thousands of holidays could be cancelled, but all ticket holders will be issued with refunds for their flight. 

Flights will operate on a reduced schedule from Wednesday, but many will still run until March 30 to ensure Australians abroad can catch a flight home. 

Virgin Australia has suspended all international flights in the face of coronavirus (stock image)

It comes as the government issued a $715 million assistance package for the airline industry, as it was hit by various international travel bans. 

In recognition of the difficulties facing airlines as travel demand dries up, the federal government has announced a $715m assistance package. This will see airlines reimbursed for Airservices charges, fuel excise and regional aviation security fees backdated to February 1 until April 30. 

Surplus staff will not be paid, and will instead be asked to take either paid or unpaid leave.

The embattled airline’s CEO Paul Scurrah said it had taken the dramatic action as a result of an ‘unprecedented time in the global aviation industry’.

There are now 456 confirmed cases of coronavirus across Australiaq, with five people already dead

There are now 456 confirmed cases of coronavirus across Australiaq, with five people already dead


New South Wales: 210

Victoria: 94

Queensland: 78

South Australia: 32

Western Australia: 31

Tasmania: 7

Northern Territory: 1 

Australian Capital Territory: 3


DEAD: 5  

‘We have responded by making tough decisions which include reducing our domestic capacity and phasing in the temporary suspension of international flying for two and a half months,’ Mr Scurrah said on Wednesday morning.

‘We are committed to supporting our guests during this period and have set up a dedicated customer care hub to manage the surge of customer queries and travel changes. 

‘We are also acutely aware of the important role airlines play in supporting connectivity, tourism and the nation’s economy and are maintaining most of our domestic routes and instead reducing frequencies in our schedule.’ 

More to come