Qantas extends coronavirus flight cancellations to July

"We don’t know how long domestic and international travel restrictions will last," says Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

By David Flynn, May 5 2020
Qantas extends coronavirus flight cancellations to July

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."


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

14 Apr 2020

Total posts 7

Don't forget the Slater & Gordon class action against the airlines who refuse refunds

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jun 2018

Total posts 8

I am very disappointed with Qantas and may well switch my loyalty. I am a NZ Based Platinum flyer that was about to attain Platinum one. I can accept missing out on Plat 1, but what has me really annoyed;

1. Being left stranded on a booking without even an offer of assistance; and

2. Ongoing issues with some promised refunds. (details below)

My Refund drama.

I was told promised a full refund on 7 of my bookings for travel in April and May between Australia and NZ back in March after the grounding on the international fleet and told this would take about 2 weeks. Total Value $7.4K

I then received emails on 9 April stating that I needed to respond that I was ok for the fee deductions from the refunds. I therefore phoned Qantas on 10 April confused, and was again told no issue, these were automated emails, your refunds require no further action and will be in full – allow another 2 weeks.

I followed up with Qantas on Monday 20th April as to timing of the refunds, I was asked if I had received a refund confirmation email, which I said no. The Qantas rep than forwarded to extradite the refunds and confirmation emails were then received immediately. I was also informed it would take about 2 weeks from receiving these confirmation emails.

On 1 May, I received emails stating that my bookings have been placed back in credit.

“We recently wrote to you requesting that you reconfirm your refund request following review of any cancellation fees applicable to your fare.” These were the emails Qantas sent to me on 9 April, for which I then phoned Qantas and was told I did not need to take any actions and that my refunds were still pending in Full.

So, I phoned Qantas after receiving these emails on Friday 1 May. The rep advised the bookings were not refundable and Qantas would only refund taxes. I advised this was not what was promised on the various other calls. After escalating, I was told a refund would be manually processed that day – Friday 1 May. I am not 100% sure what is being refunded yet, and still 3 working days later – no refund has yet to be processed

Qantas seem very keen to keep telling me that they are looking after me as they claim to have extended my Platinum status, despite the fact that I had in fact that it should be bloody obvious that I had already well and truly retained Platinum

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qantas extends coronavirus flight cancellations to July