Qantas expects the bulk of its domestic flights to remain grounded until at least the end of June, with international flights scrapped until the end of July, although the airline says there is "scope to restore some services at relatively short notice as restrictions lift".
The carrier has also taken out a $550 million loan against three of Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which comes on top of $1.05 billion raised in March against seven of the Dreamliners, as it heads into an estimated net cash burn rate of $40 million per week by the end of June 2020.
As of 4 May 2020, the airline says its total short-term liquidity stood at $3.5 billion, with $2.7 billion in "unencumbered aircraft assets" which can be further used to raise funds as needed.
"Our cash balance shows that we’re in a very strong position, which under the circumstances we absolutely have to be," said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.
"We don’t know how long domestic and international travel restrictions will last or what demand will look like as they’re gradually lifted."
While the airline stands ready to add domestic and New Zealand flights as travel restrictions ease, with a minimum lead time of around one week, Joyce admits "we don’t know how long domestic and international travel restrictions will last or what demand will look like as they’re gradually lifted."
“Australia has done an amazing job of flattening the curve and we’re optimistic that domestic travel will start returning earlier than first thought, but we clearly won’t be back to pre-coronavirus levels anytime soon. With the possible exception of New Zealand, international travel demand could take years to return to what it was."
Joyce also confirmed that in reshaping Qantas to meet a gradual recovery in travel, and an uncertain picture of the post-coronavirus travel landscape, "fleet, network and capital expenditure will all have to be reviewed."