Image Source: The New Daily/AAP

Virgin Australia Managing Director Paul Scurrah said today that about 1000 of the 8000 workers being stood down will be made redundant. The 1000 figure includes all 220 Tigerair pilots as the Group moves to a single pilot pool to fly for both airlines.

Mr Scurrah told ABC News Australia that, “this is the worst airline crisis the world has ever seen. We are doing everything we can to make sure there are other income sources during this crisis.” Later on the 7 Network’s breakfast Sunrise, he said, “Out of the 8000, we’re likely to make in excess of 1000 redundant.”

The Australian Federation of Airline Pilots Industrial Officer James Lauchland told Fairfax Media, “It is disappointing that while Virgin is trying to reassure the travelling public that it will maintain a low-cost carrier, it is dismissing all of Tigerair’s pilots at the same time.”

Virgin is also closing it’s New Zealand base of about 500 pilot and cabin crew.

A Virgin spokesperson told Fairfax, “The COVID-19 pandemic has required the group to evaluate its operating model for its Boeing 737 flying, to ensure we are operating as efficiently as possible once the crisis is over.”

S&P downgraded Virgin’s credit rating from B- to CCC on the same day.