Reports that Virgin Australia will cease flying 10 routes to regional centres across Australia are a devastating blow to communities already struggling though the first recession in 30 years.
These cuts, along with previously announced job losses, are the direct result of the Morrison Government’s decision to allow Virgin Australia to fall into administration and his government’s complete failure to come up with a plan for aviation.
The regional centres to lose services are Uluru, Tamworth, Port Macquarie, Albury, Hervey Bay, Cloncurry and Mildura.
Fewer routes will mean higher fares and fewer services to these regional communities. This will lead to fewer tourists and fewer visitors, costing more jobs in communities doing it tough.
While devastating, these route cuts are not unforseen. Appearing on Four Corners in June, Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah revealed that there is “zero doubt” the reborn airline will fly to fewer places. Labor has been warning of cuts to regional services since before the airline entered administration.
It is essential that Australia maintains two strong, competitive airlines as we emerge from this recession. The Government has paid lip service to this fact, but have failed to take any decisive action.
The Prime Minister is responsible for these route losses and any further job losses that come as a result.
10 SEPTEMBER 2020