“ZERO DOUBT” THAT VIRGIN AUSTRALIA WILL FLY TO FEWER PLACES

CATHERINE KING MP.
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1 week ago
“ZERO DOUBT” THAT VIRGIN AUSTRALIA WILL FLY TO FEWER PLACES
CATHERINE KING MP
Appearing on last night’s Four Corners, Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah revealed that there is “zero doubt” the reborn airline will fly to fewer places. This comes after the Morrison Government rejected eight letters asking for assistance from the airline, preferring to allow the airline to fall into voluntary administration rather than taking any action to protect routes and jobs.

Fewer routes will mean higher fares and fewer services to regional communities, costing jobs across the country.

Last night also revealed that Virgin received “mixed signals” from those around the cabinet table regarding the Government support that might be available to the stricken airline.

While the Government ultimately decided to deny Virgin’s requests for assistance, claiming repeatedly that they would take a “sector-wide” approach to aviation, we know they in fact picked winners and losers, including by supporting Rex with $54 million in untied funding. With this support, Rex has been able to move quickly from relying on Government funding for survival to announcing entry into lucrative east coast markets.
 
We know that there was Cabinet division, we know the Government hasn’t taken a sector-wide approach and we know routes and jobs will be lost as a result.
 
This is a difficult time for Australia’s airlines, and they are not helped by the lack of clarity regarding industry support and the future of JobKeeper from the Morrison Government.
 
It is essential that Australia maintains two strong, competitive airlines as we emerge from this crisis. To ensure this the Government needs a plan for Australian aviation.
 
The Morrison Government has taken a hands-off approach to the airline industry. The Prime Minister is responsible for any job or route losses that occur as a result.   
 
Transport