Australia

Virgin Australia to axe 3000 jobs, sell long-haul jets in relaunch

Virgin Australia will sack 3000 employees, or around a third of its workforce, and offload its long-haul international jets as part of a re-launch under its new owner Bain Capital.

Australia's number two airline, which went into voluntary administration in April owing $6.8 billion, released its relaunch plan on Wednesday morning. The moves were designed to make it a "stronger, more profitable and competitive" carrier, it said in a statement.

Virgin's new owners said the plans would make it a "stronger, more profitable and competitive" carrier.

Virgin's new owners said the plans would make it a "stronger, more profitable and competitive" carrier.Credit:James Alcock

Virgin said it will strip its fleet of 132 aircraft back to just its Boeing 737s, of which it has 79, and its regional and charter Fokker 100s and Airbus A320s. It will offload its long-haul Boeing 777s and Airbus A330s, Tigerair A320 and ATR turboprops.

Virgin's budget Tigerair brand will be retired but Virgin will maintain its air operating certificate to give it the option of relaunching a new ultra-low cost arm in the future.

While long-haul international flying was an "important part" of the airline's future, such routes would remain suspended until global travel demand recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Virgin said.

Virgin's administrator Deloitte signed a deal to sell the airline to US private equity giant Bain in June, but key terms of the deal have been kept secret, including how large the business will be and how much will be paid to unsecured creditors.

More to come

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