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Qantas slashes flights after coronvirus slump

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Qantas has slashed the capacity of its international flights by almost a quarter for the next six months due to the coronavirus impact.

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Qantas and Jetstar will operate fewer flights and smaller planes for travel to Asia, the US, the UK and New Zealand, and extend the cuts to mid-September as fewer people look to fly.

The changes reduce capacity by 23 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Services to Asia are most affected. Capacity for this continent will be reduced by 31 per cent.

The US is the next most affected destination – a 19 per cent cut.

Airlines across the world have wound back flights. Some countries such as Australia have banned people arriving from countries highly-affected by the virus, and tourists have delayed travel.

Chief executive Alan Joyce will not take a salary for the remainder of the financial year as the airline tries to limit costs.

His peers will accept similar reductions.

Chairman Richard Goyder will take no fees. Group executive management will take a 30 per cent pay cut, and board members will accept a 30 per cent reduction in fees.

Joyce said he expected lower demand to continue for the next several months, and cutting capacity would reduce costs.

He said the airline had the flexibility to cut further, or restore capacity, as the situation develops.

The board has cancelled an off-market share buyback, which was announced in February.

-AAP

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