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Virgin Australia slashes five domestic flights as coronavirus slams $75 million hole in airline’s budget

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Five routes and seven aircraft will be retired as Tigerair bears the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak.

Virgin Australia is slashing a number of domestic Tigerair flights as the airline prepares to absorb a $75 million hole in its bottom line caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Five Tigerair-operated domestic routes will cease from late April this year, including pivotal services from Adelaide to Sydney.

Virgin will also accelerate the retirement of seven Airbus A320 planes from its Tigerair stable, moving the discount airline to an all-Boeing 737 fleet.

The five routes, deemed by Virgin to be unprofitable, include:

The end of these domestic routes come as the Group already announced it will totally withdraw from the Hong Kong market due to civil unrest and poor demand due to coronavirus.

Overall, group network capacity will be reduced by three percent in the airline groups second half of the financial year.

Virgin Australia Group CEO Paul Scurrah said the moves were necessary to improve the aircraft's balance sheet.

"There's no doubt we are operating in a tough market, and we need to make sure our capacity deployment is disciplined to ensure our routes are profitable for our business," said Mr Scurrah.

"Coronavirus is having a significant impact on the travel industry and these changes will help us manage the changes we're seeing in demand.

"We maintain a very strong network of more than 450 destinations between us and our partners and, whilst we have made some announcements to manage costs today, we are as focused as ever on continuing to deliver a great experience for our customers."

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Virgin Australia is not the only airline to feel the affects of coronavirus. Earlier this month Cathay Pacific pleaded with staff to take three weeks unpaid leave to prevent the airline from going under.

Source: 9News

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