Airnorth facing major job losses, flight suspensions
DARWIN-based airline Airnorth is suspending many of its flight routes in response to the coronavirus crisis, putting the jobs of hundreds of Territorians at risk.
The regional airline - which employs about 300 Territorians across its administration and operational capacities - is looking at all of its flight routes as travel grinds to a halt throughout the nation.
More than 220 weekly flights - and many of those local jobs - are at risk due to the cuts as the company faces unprecedented pressures due to the coronavirus pandemic impacting airline travel.
The airline flying to 21 destinations across two countries including Townsville, Perth, McArthur River Mine, Broome and the East Timor capital of Dili.
As part of the cuts the Toowomba to Darwin and Melbourne to Darwin services will be suspended.
The suspensions will start on March 28 and last until at least June 28 this year.
Airnorth is also reassessing its flight services to Dili in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
A spokesman from the Darwin-based airline company said, at this stage, the airline was still operating its flights to Dili, although it could be subject to change given the Federal Government's ban on foreign travellers coming to Australia.
"Airnorth is currently operating all our Dili services as normal," the spokesman said.
"However, due to the ... developments for international travellers to and from Timor-Leste we are currently assessing how these changes may impact our flying program in the future.
"We encourage customers to keep up to date with the latest travel advice issued by smartraveller.gov.au and the Australian Border Force."
Airnorth chief executive, Daniel Bowden, said the suspensions would include all flights operating out of Toowomba.
Mr Bowden said the pandemic had caught up to the airline.
"The impact of the coronavirus has undoubtedly placed unprecedented pressures across all businesses, communities and families throughout Australia," he said.
"This was a difficult decision (to suspend all flights out of Toowoomba), as the Toowoomba and Darling Down catchment is an important region within our network. We look forward to welcoming our customers on-board again soon."
Airnorth will waive all change fees applicable for travel between today (March 20) and June 28, 2020 on suspended services through Wellcamp Airport for travellers already holding existing bookings.
Customers who wish to cancel their bookings can do so with the value retained in credit.
SERVICES IMPACTED BY THE AIRNORTH SUSPENSION
Melbourne to Darwin
Toowoomba to Darwin
Melbourne to Toowoomba
Melbourne to Townsville
Toowoomba to Melbourne
Toowoomba to Townsville
Townsville to Melbourne
Townsville to Toowoomba
Originally published as Airnorth facing major job losses, flight suspensions