Wednesday marked the darkest day in Virgin Australia’s history, with the announcement that 80 per cent of its employees would be stood down.
But cabin supervisor Cassy rose to the occasion, holding back tears to deliver a pitch-perfect farewell speech to her staff and crew as her aircraft was about to land. “Tough times don’t last,” she signed off, “but tough people do.”
You can watch the video, posted on Virgin Australia’s Twitter feed, below.
Today has been a hard day for us all. We truly believe it is our people that make a difference. Cassy, one of our New Zealand based Cabin Supervisors, put into words what many of us haven't been able to today. Kia kaha to all our Kiwi #VirginFamily ❤️? pic.twitter.com/difc6IWj9G
— Virgin Australia (@VirginAustralia) March 25, 2020
The New Zealand-based staff member started her safety message to passengers by announcing the flight could quite possibly be her team’s last.
She said, “As crew, we’ve called the skies our home for so long, it’s a little surreal knowing we’ve come back down to earth this one last time.
“To my guests, thank you so much for your smiles and interactions. It’s you who help to make our day so enjoyable. In a world full of choice, we’re incredibly proud you chose Virgin Australia to be part of your travel plans.
“We’re grateful for your loyalty and custom. On behalf of the entire Virgin Australia team, we wish you all the best during these testing times. To my crew, words don’t come close to describing the family bond we share. The friendship, hardships, laughter and tears.
“You have all contributed to enriching my time here and I count myself lucky to have had the pleasure of working alongside you all.
“It’s remarkable how we’ve all bonded together during this chaos and I’m so proud of how you continue to keep your head high. Tough times don’t last, tough people do.
“Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. We truly hope to see you in the sky again soon.”
Meanwhile, Virgin Australia’s chief executive said on Thursday that 1,000 of its 8,000 stood down employees would likely be made redundant.
Paul Scurrah told the ABC, “This is the worst airline crisis the world has ever seen. We are doing everything we can to make sure there are other income sources.”
In the short interview, he confirmed Virgin Australia was in talks with 25 partners, including Coles, to try and redeploy staff. It follows a similar agreement between Qantas and Woolworths.
If you’re a stood down cabin crew member, see our guide to your rights from one of Australia’s top employment law experts.