Aviation & Airports
Australia's national airline Qantas plans to suspend all international flights from the end of March in response to the travel restrictions imposed by the Australian government to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Qantas yesterday had already announced cuts to 90pc of international flights and about 60pc of its domestic services. With Canberra 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, Qantas said. Essential domestic, regional and freight connections will be maintained as much as possible, it said.
Qantas and its budget affiliate Jetstar will stand down the majority of their 30,000 employees until at least the end of May.
Virgin Australia yesterday suspended all international flights from 30 March to 14 June.
Qantas gave no update on its forecast fuel costs for the 2019-20 fiscal year to 30 June following the latest cuts. Qantas on 10 March said the sharp fall in oil prices and the knock-on effect on jet fuel prices, as well as lower consumption, would result in total fuel costs of A$3.74bn ($2.09bn) in 2019-20 against its A$3.85bn projection made on 20 February
By Kevin Morrison
The Australian mining and metal company Australian Bauxite has started to increase its production to support fertilizer production in Tasmania.
Japanese metals producers Mitsubishi Materials (MMC) and Kobe Steel (Kobelco) have agreed to delay their plan to transfer copper tube production assets to an investment fund, citing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus epidemic.
Australian lithium producer Pilbara Minerals has improved plant recoveries and reduced unit costs at its Pilgangoora mine in Western Australia as it continues to moderate output in response to weak demand.
Several coal-consuming industries are likely to remain operational in Vietnam along with the power stations even as the government intensifies efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak. But health-related precautions may result in labour challenges.
A number of Indonesian coal mining firms are considering cutting production amid expectations that Asia-Pacific demand will be heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
As many as 25 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) were booked for floating storage during 1 February-30 March, according to shipping data obtained by Argus, as crude demand and prices plummet from a combination of the Opec+ battle for market share and the coronavirus pandemic.