March 18, 2020 / 9:56 PM / 19 days ago

Qantas to cease international flying, stand down majority of workforce

SYDNEY, March 19 (Reuters) - Qantas Airways Ltd said on Thursday it would halt all international flights from late March until at least the end of May and stand down the majority of its 30,000 employees during that period after Australia advised citizens not to travel overseas.

It will also delay the payment of its dividend from April 9 until Sept. 1 and senior executives and the board will take a 100% pay cut until at least the end of the financial year, up from 30% earlier, joining the chairman and CEO in taking no pay.

“We’re in a strong financial position right now, but our wages bill is more than A$4 billion ($2.31 billion) a year,” Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said in a statement. “With the huge drop in revenue we’re facing, we have to make difficult decisions to guarantee the future of the national carrier.” ($1 = 1.7307 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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