Virgin Australia has said that it is operating at 40% of its pre-pandemic domestic capacity in January, missing a forecast of 60% due to state-based travel restrictions that are hampering an aviation market recovery.
Australia recorded a tenth straight day of no new local COVID-19 cases on Wednesday January 27, but many states have left some travel restrictions in place following an outbreak in Sydney last month.
Larger rival Qantas Airways Ltd expects to run at 60% of pre-pandemic domestic capacity in the March quarter, which is below its previous forecast rate of nearly 80%, due to the state travel curbs, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said this month.
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Virgin Australia, which is now owned by US private equity group Bain Capital, added that it has informed employees on that it will cut up to 350 head office roles in the coming months to finalise 3,000 job cuts that were announced in August.
"The challenging environment shows the need to finalise our restructuring and reduce costs in line with our simplified business model," a Virgin Australia spokesperson said.
Virgin Australia has shifted away from being a full-service carrier to occupy a mid-market position between Qantas and its budget arm, Jetstar.
New Senior Leadership Team
This month, Virgin Australia unveiled a new senior leadership team under chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka, including several executives who had worked with her when she ran Jetstar.