Airline Virgin Australia to slash workforce

Airline Virgin Australia says it plans to cut a third of its workforce, a last ditch effort to overhaul itself amid the global health crisis.

On Wednesday (August 5) the company said 3000 jobs would be axed, as the carrier offloads its wider-body planes like the Boeing 777.

It's part of an attempt to redefine itself as a short-haul operator after the airline saw seven straight years without a profit.

Virgin Chief Executive Paul Scurrah told reporters for now the focus is on value for money:

"Today as hard as it is to ask 3,000 of our people to leave the business. It does secure a future for 6,000 of our current workforce. We have every intention of making sure that we are a strong and fierce competitor."

The crisis - and a plummet in demand for air travel - was the final straw for Australia's second biggest airline.

Now Virgin Australia says the fleet will be simplified and pivot to focus on the smaller Boeing 737s.

Earlier this year the company went into voluntary administration - similar to bankruptcy in the United States.

The board selected Bain Capital as the winning bidder for the company in June.

Creditors, who are owed nearly $5 billion dollars, are due to vote on the sale to Bain by early next month.