There’s been a glimmer of a silver lining to emerge from a horror month for Virgin Australia.
The airline has announced plans to suspend all international flights, dramatically cull domestic services and temporarily stand down staff as the aviation industry is devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
As well as grounding aircraft – which includes Tigerair Australia’s entire fleet – the airline has also closed its airport lounges.
But in a heartwarming move, Virgin Australia has donated all the leftover food from those out-of-use aircraft and empty lounges to hungry Australians along with food rescue charity OzHarvest.
The three tonnes of surplus food represents a record 6000 meals for people who rely on OzHarvest.
“Because of the coronavirus crisis we’ve had to ground 90 per cent of our usual flying, we’ve had to close the lounges that are normally open and because of that we have excess meals,” Virgin Australia chief executive and managing director Paul Scurrah said.
“We’re working with OzHarvest to make sure these meals don’t go to waste and they go to those that need them most, and this week alone we’ve donated 6000 to hungry Australians.”
The food includes meals from the airline’s business class and lounge menus.
OzHarvest spokeswoman Michaela Windsor said the donations would benefit a lot of people in need.
“Our hearts go out to anyone who is currently impacted by the coronavirus crisis,” she said.
“The generous donations from Virgin Australia will feed many vulnerable Australians from all walks of life who are doing it tough.”