Qantas has just announced that they will be cutting their capacity by a quarter for the next 6 months.

As explained in the latest media release, this cut “follows the spread of the Coronavirus into Europe and North America over the past fortnight, as well as its continued spread through Asia, which has resulted in a sudden and significant drop in forward travel demand.”

This capacity reduction will ground 38 aircraft across Qantas and Jetstar, including eight out of twelve Airbus A380s that Qantas has.

Capacity Cut – Overview

Qantas, along with its subsidiary Jetstar, will reduce its capacity from 5% to 23%; the cut will be extended until mid – September 2020. Here is the breakdown by regions:

  • Asia – down by 31%
  • US – down by 19%
  • UK – down by 17%
  • Trans – Tasman – down by 10%

Grounding of Qantas A380

Qantas Announces Air France-KLM Frequent Flyer Partnership
Qantas A380

As a result of capacity reduction, Qantas will be downgrading aircraft on several routes; which will send eight A380 for grounding.

Of the remaining four A380s, two will be sent for maintenance and upgrading while the other two will remain flying.

Qantas Seeking Extension to Airbus A350-1000 Order

In addition, according to Reuters, Qantas is seeking an order extension for its Airbus A350-1000. This order involves 12 A350-1000 aircraft of which some are intended for the world’s longest commercial flight, between Sydney and London.

To date, Qantas has yet receive a response from Airbus.

Summary of New Network Changes – Qantas

Key Highlights

  • Replacing of Sydney-Singapore-London route to Sydney-Perth-London.
  • Suspension of A380 service from Singapore will send Qantas First Lounge for temporary closure.
  • New route launch between Brisbane and Chicago will be postponed.
Qantas First Lounge in Singapore. Credit: Executive Traveller


RouteChangeEffective dates 
(until mid-Sept 2020)
Sydney-Tokyo (Haneda)B747 replaced by smaller A33030 March
Melbourne-Singapore  – 7 return flights per week cancelled
(QF 37/38)

– B787 replaced by larger A330 on 7 return flights per week
(QF 35/36)
– 20 April

– 4 May

North America

RouteChange Effective dates
 (until mid-Sept 2020)
Brisbane-ChicagoRoute launch postponedWas to start 15 April
Brisbane-San FranciscoRoute suspended
(3 return flights per week)
18 April
Sydney-San FranciscoB787 replaced by larger B74718 April
Melbourne-San FranciscoRoute suspended
(4 return flights per week)
18 April
Sydney-Dallas/Fort WorthA380 replaced by smaller B78720 April
Melbourne-Los AngelesA380 replaced by smaller B7871 June
Sydney-VancouverSeasonal service suspended
(3 return flights per week)
June and July only

United Kingdom

RouteChangeEffective dates
(until mid-Sept 2020)
Sydney-London (Heathrow)– Flights to operate via Perth (instead of Singapore)then non-stop to London.

– Perth-London to become double daily as a result.– A380 replaced by smaller B787
20 April

South America

RouteChangeEffective dates
(until mid-Sept 2020
Sydney-SantiagoDelaying planned B787 introduction and continuing with B7471 August

Summary of New Network Changes – Jetstar Airways

RoutesChangeEffective date
(until end June but may be extended)
Melbourne-BangkokRoute suspended1 May
Sydney/Melbourne-Ho Chi MinhFlights reduced by over 50 per cent1 May
Japan routesFlights reduced by almost 40 per cent20 May
Brisbane-BaliMinor flight reductions1 May

Advice For Affected Customers

Qantas and Jetstar will be reaching out to affected customers in the coming week. Customers who booked via a travel agent will be contacted by their agent instead.

In addition, both Qantas and Jetstar will waive change fees for new international bookings made from today until the end of March. This one-time free change will be applicable for new tickets, for travel up to 30th June 2020. Any fare difference will still have to be absorbed by the customer.