DUNEDIN AIRPORT, NZ (CBS Newspast)–In an emotional video posted by Virgin Australia on Wednesday (March 25), a flight attendant made a farewell speech on the tarmac at Dunedin airport in New Zealand as the airline prepares to ground 125 aircraft and put 80% of its employees on leave due to the coronavirus outbreak
“As crew, we’ve called the skies home for so long it’s a little surreal we’ve come back down to earth this one last time,” the flight attendant, identified as ‘Cassy’ by the airline, said in the video. “It’s incredible how we’ve all banded together during this time of chaos and I’m so proud of how you’ve continued to hold your heads high.”
Virgin Australia announced that it would be cutting 90% of its domestic capacity until at least June 14 as demand for flights plummeted. The company is also looking to close its New Zealand cabin crew and pilot bases as well as its Tigerair Australia pilot base in Melbourne, adding that leave without pay will be inevitable for many employees.
The Australian government has advised against all non-essential domestic travel, while New Zealand started a one-month compulsory lockdown on Thursday (March 26).
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