Virgin Blue makes cuts

March 27: Virgin Blue, the budget Australian airline, revised its domestic schedule following the decision to mothball five Boeing 737 aircraft from May 7.

The airline said the capacity reduction equated to the removal of 28 flights daily from a total of over 330 domestic daily services. It is not withdrawing from any markets. The reductions are an interim plan due to the continued and forecast deterioration in demand – the five aircraft will be managed as operational spares and will not be returned to scheduled service for at least 12 months.

“We have been very open with our team, outlining in a realistic manner the current operating environment and what we have to do to keep our business sustainable during economic downturn,” said Virgin Blue Chief Executive Officer Brett Godfrey.

“We are very encouraged by the attitude of people. While we started the month of March with a challenge to reduce our operational fleet by five aircraft and therefore 400 jobs, it is because of their flexibility and spirit of co-operation, that we will likely manage our way through this phase with fewer redundancies than initially indicated.”