Qantas will suspend all international flights from the end of March with two-thirds of all 30,000 staff being stood down.

The dramatic cuts in the face of the coronavirus epidemic will see 150 aircraft grounded including all Airbus A380 superjumbos, Boeing 747s and 787-9 Dreamliners.

Low cost offshoot Jetstar’s Dreamliners are also being withdrawn from service.

Cuts to 90% of international flying and about 60% of domestic flights were announced earlier this week by the two Australian carriers.

Qantas Group said: “With the federal government now recommending against all overseas travel from Australia, regularly scheduled international flights will continue until late March to assist with repatriation and will then be suspended until at least the end of May 2020.

“As the national carrier, Qantas is in ongoing discussions with the federal government about continuation of some strategic links.

“More than 150 aircraft will be temporarily grounded, Discussions are progressing with airports and government about parking for these aircraft.

“Essential domestic, regional and freight connections will be maintained as much as possible.”

Senior executives and board members have increased salary reductions from 30% to 100% until at least the end of the financial year.

They join the group’s chairman and chief executive Alan Joyce in taking no pay. Annual management bonuses have also been cancelled.

Joyce said: “The efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus have led to a huge drop in travel demand, the likes of which we have never seen before. This is having a devastating impact on all airlines.

“We’re in a strong financial position right now, but our wages bill is more than A$4 billion a year. With the huge drop in revenue we’re facing, we have to make difficult decisions to guarantee the future of the national carrier.

“The reality is we’ll have 150 aircraft on the ground and sadly there’s no work for most of our people. Rather than lose these highly skilled employees who we’ll need when this crisis passes, we are instead standing down two-thirds of our 30,000 employees until at least the end of May.”

“Most of our people will be using various types of paid leave during this time, and we’ll have a number of support options in place.

“We’re also talking to our partners like Woolworths about temporary job opportunities for our people.

“This is a very hard set of circumstances for our people, as it is for lots of parts of the community right now.

“No airline in the world is immune to this, with the world’s leading carriers making deep cuts to flying schedules and jobs. Our strong balance sheet means we’ve entered this crisis in better shape than most and we’re taking action to make sure we can ride this out.

“Since this crisis started, there has been overwhelming support from our customers. That gives me even more confidence that we’ll get through this.”