Airline pilots say Government must prioritise return of international students


The Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA), which covers the majority of pilots in the Qantas Group, is seeking an urgent return to flying and calls on the Federal Government to prioritise a plan to enable the safe return of international students to Australia.

AIPA President Mark Sedgwick said as lockdown restrictions are gradually removed, flying international students into Australia would boost the aviation and university sectors.

“A controlled return of international students will provide valuable work for Australian pilots and must be considered a priority for the Federal Government,” Mr Sedgwick said.

“We have written to Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan saying Australian pilots should be involved in carrying the thousands of international students who must return to study in Australia.”

“There are 120,000 international students stranded overseas who will need to travel to Australia to resume their studies.”

“We are supportive of plans put forward by Universities Australia, the Group of Eight and the Regional Universities Network and we are encouraging the Federal Government to consider the economic benefits of allowing a return of international students beyond the education sector.”

“Enabling the return of international students would also spark business activity across a number of industries, including aviation and tourism.”

“Australia’s relative success in stemming the spread of the coronavirus provides the opportunity for a carefully staged and monitored re-entry of international students, upon whom many Australian businesses are reliant.”

“Students at regional universities also provide valuable work for airlines that service regional education hubs such as Armidale, Townsville and Bathurst.”

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