A feud between Qantas and Virgin Australia over bailouts turned ugly this week. While Qantas has furloughed almost all of its staff and bolstered its cash reserves, Virgin Atlantic asked for a government loan of AUS$1.4 billion. The Australian government has already commissioned an AUS$715 million aid package for the industry as a whole.
Despite the different approaches, both airlines are feeling the same pain from the decreasing number of domestic and international flights taking off in the country in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Looking at departures from Australia’s busiest airports on Monday and three weeks prior, departures have been reduced to a trickle almost everywhere. This is according to data from website Flightradar24.
Airports in Queensland and Canberra are only logging a handful of planes a day at the moment, while Sydney and Melbourne are seeing only 15 percent of their regular departures. Perth, which is one of the most remote major cities in the world, is still at approximately 60 percent of flight capacity.