Virgin Atlantic asks staff to take eight weeks of unpaid leave

Qatar Airways to allow passengers to re-book or cancel without charges
March 23, 2020
US airlines slash flights over Corona virus crisis
March 23, 2020

Virgin Atlantic staff will be asked to take eight weeks of unpaid leave over the next three months, to help the airline cope during the coronavirus pandemic.

The airline is one of many to have brought in drastic measures to cope with a fall in passenger demand, due to global travel restrictions and the reluctance to travel due to the disease.
Bosses said the cost would be spread over six months’ salary to “drastically reduce costs without job losses”.

Also on Monday:

Virgin Atlantic to reduce daily flights by 80% by 26 March and the London Heathrow to Newark route to be axed immediately
Tui cancels “vast majority” of its holidays
easyJet warns most of its fleet could be grounded, saying it will continue to operate rescue flights for short periods “where we can” to repatriate passengers, but more cuts are expected
easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren: “European aviation faces a precarious future and it is clear that co-ordinated government backing will be required to ensure the industry survives”
Ryanair expects majority of its European fleet to be grounded over next seven to 10 days. In countries where they are not grounded, growing restrictions could make flying “impractical if not impossible”
Ryainair chief executive Michael O’Leary said “extraordinary and unprecedented travel restrictions” imposed by governments had come “in many cases with minimal or zero notice”
British Airways owner IAG says travel restrictions are “having a significant and increasingly negative impact” on demand on almost all of its routes
IAG to reduce capacity by 75% in April and May, compared to same period last year
IAG staff to be offered voluntary leave options, recruitment to be frozen, and working hours reduced
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh: “We have seen a substantial decline in bookings across our airlines and global network over the past few weeks and we expect demand to remain weak until well into the summer”