Virgin Australia will focus on domestic and shorthaul international flying and will eliminate approximately a third of its remaining workforce under a restructuring strategy unveiled Wednesday.

The simplified business approach will be adopted by new Virgin Australia owner Bain Capital as the carrier emerges from voluntary administration, the Australian equivalent of bankruptcy. Bain acquired the second largest Australian carrier -- Qantas is the largest -- in June.

As part of the new business plan, Virgin Australia will lay off approximately 3,000 employees. Approximately 6,000 jobs will remain, assuming a market recovery.

In another major cost-cutting measure, the carrier will retire its Boeing 777, Airbus A330, Airbus A320 and ATR turboprop aircraft from its mainline fleet, leaving only Boeing 737s. Virgin Australia will also do away with Tigerair, its low-cost brand. In addition, all longhaul flights will remain suspended, though the carrier said it plans to resume longhaul flying once demand returns.

Virgin Australia entered into administration in April, about a month after the full onset of the Covid-19 crisis. At the time it employed 10,000 people.

The carrier will maintain a full-service model as it re-emerges from court supervision, including a network of lounges and two cabin classes on its 737 single-aisle planes. The company said it will honor travel credits banked by customers before the administration process. Customers will also hold onto their Velocity program frequent flyer points.

"Virgin Australia has been a challenger in the Australian market for 20 years, and as a result of this plan and the investment with Bain Capital we are going to be in a much stronger position to continue that legacy," said CEO Paul Scurrah.


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