The announcement by the Federal Government to provide $165 million backing to allow Qantas and Virgin Australia to reinstitute key domestic air services is welcomed by the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) as vital support at this critical time.
VTIC Chief Executive Felicia Mariani congratulated the Morrison Government on this latest investment in Australia’s ailing tourism industry.
“The announcement of a further $165 million support package for Qantas and Virgin Australia will mean our carriers can continue transporting our essential workers to areas of need across the country, as well as ensuring that returned international travellers can make their way to their home states after the 14-day mandatory quarantine requirements.
“Our Australian carriers have a vital role to play in the midst of this current crisis, but border closures and Stage 3 Restrictions have decimated their business, forcing both airlines to ground fleet, stand down staff and virtually cease operations. This investment means they can kick-start their operations and get their aircraft flying again to deliver critical transport services,” Ms Mariani said.
The Commonwealth will underwrite the cost of some flights to capital cities and to various regional destinations across the country over the next eight-week period. The initial run of flights will be reviewed after this time to assess further need. This backing is in addition to the support the Federal Government has already provided to ensure airlines can operate international routes to Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong and Auckland to assist in getting Australians back home.
“A strong domestic aviation network is vital to a vibrant tourism and trade economy and this support from the Federal Government is the lifeline that our Australian carriers have needed to continue their operations.
“It means that both Qantas and Virgin Australia can reinstate pilots, cabin crew and ground staff, getting more people back to work.
“These continued investments by the Commonwealth in our sector are a strong indication of the important role that the tourism and travel industry play in the economic fabric of our nation,” Ms Mariani concluded.