The Federal Government’s support package for the aviation industry is a welcome first step but it is highly likely that much more will be needed.
The Government must ensure Australia has a vibrant aviation sector once the Coronavirus outbreak has passed and support the 50,000 Australians who work in the industry.
While we haven’t seen the full details of the package, we broadly welcome the Government’s announcement following Labor’s ongoing calls for urgent support to the aviation sector.
However further capacity reductions of both international and domestic services from both major airlines in the last 24 hours and ongoing requests from across the aviation sector indicates further support will be needed.
This aviation support package follows the exclusion of the sector from the Federal Government’s Coronavirus economic stimulus package last week.
Australian airlines first began reducing capacity in mid-February as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. Over the past month our airlines have been transparent with the Australian public and their workforce about the challenges they face.
Ongoing increases in the Federal Government’s travel restrictions, quarantine measures and social distancing rules have significant consequences for the viability of our aviation sector.
While these measures are needed for public health, the rapidly evolving nature of the outbreak necessitates a more proactive approach from the Federal Government to support the airlines and the 50,000 Australians who work in the sector.
Labor will review the support package and continue to play a constructive, responsible and supportive role during this outbreak.