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‘Broad and immediate’: Qantas and Jetstar slash flights in response to coronavirus

Image: Brendon Thorne / Stringer

Australian airlines have slashed flights in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Qantas will cut 16 per cent of its flights to Asia until at least the end of May, while Jetstar will reduce flights by 14 per cent.

3AW’s Neil Mitchell labelled the cuts ‘severe’.

“This (coronavirus) is having not unexpected implications, but they’re broad and they’re immediate,” the 3AW Mornings host said.

Domestic Qantas flights will also be cut by 2.3 per cent.

The move, which is the equivalent of grounding 18 aircraft, will affect 700 jobs.

The coronavirus outbreak is expected to cost the two airlines between $100 million and $150 million.

Staff are being asked to take holidays during the reduced operating period, and there is a freeze on recruitment.

Routes affected include: Melbourne to Singapore, Sydney to Shanghai, Sydney to Hong Kong, Brisbane to Hong Kong and Cairns to Tokyo.