Virgin Australia boss Paul Scurrah says more than 1,000 of the workers it has stood down this week will probably be made redundant as the airline grounds planes during the coronavirus pandemic.
Virgin Australia on Wednesday said it has suspended 8,000 of its 10,000 workers as it slashed domestic flights.
“This is the worst airline crisis the world has ever seen,” Mr Scurrah on Thursday told ABC TV.
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He said Virgin was talking to major employers about trying to find work for its affected employees.
All 8,000 affected staff have been encouraged to take leave, and consider leave without pay.
The remaining workers are providing essential services such as transporting critical freight.
The federal government last week provided a $715 million rescue package for airlines.
The government will forgo fuel excise, air service charges and regional security fees.
On Wednesday night, shoe retailer Accent Group said it will close all stores from Friday for four weeks.
Its outlets include The Athlete’s Foot, Hype DC and Platypus Shoes.
All store staff and most office workers will be stood down without pay.
Accent will continue trading online and through its wholesale operations.
Casino operator Star Entertainment Group stood down most of its workforce with 8,100 workers suspended.
Mosaic brands – the owner of Noni B, Rivers and Katies – said it will stand down 6,800 employees across 1,300 stores.
Hospitality groups including Justin Hemmes’ Merrivale empire and The Federal Group have also suspended thousands of employees.
© AAP 2020