Aviation

Government backs Qantas and Virgin domestic flights with $165m injection

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

The federal government has announced further support for Australia’s commercial aviation sector with a $165 million package to keep Virgin Australia and Qantas flying domestically.

Announced by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack yesterday, the new funding will underwrite 220 flights every week, for eight weeks, on 60 routes for the two carriers.

McCormack said the new round of funding will keep Australians who live within the domestic network connected, ensure essential workers and critical freight get to where it is needed, and save lives and livelihoods.

Under the new domestic schedule, Virgin will operate 64 return services each week, while Qantas/QantasLink/Jetstar flights will increase from 105 per week to 164 per week to all capital cities and 36 regional destinations. Both airlines will progressively offer these domestic flights from today.

In welcoming the federal government funding, Virgin Australia said the minimal domestic schedule will enable the airline to reinstate some of its stood-down flight, cabin and ground crew, along with other operational team members.

Qantas said that while the risk of contracting coronavirus on board an aircraft is regarded as low, social distancing has been put in place across all of its flights.

“Similarly, on-board service will be a scaled-back version of what would normally apply, with cabin crew focused on in-flight safety and they will wear personal protective equipment,” the company said.

“On behalf of the Qantas Group, we sincerely thank our crew for their willingness to make these important flights possible.”

The minimal domestic schedule is in addition to the international repatriation flights that both carrier are currently operating at the request of the government.

The $165 million worth of funding follows the government’s $715 million relief package for Aussie airlines announced last month, as well as a $300 million lifeline for the regional aviation sector.

Credit: iStock/Ryan Fletcher

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Qantas boss says vaccines will open up international travel before “bubbles” eventuate

To be fair, Aussies were expecting to be able to travel to New Zealand by now but the closest we can get is watching Flight of the Conchords while sipping a pinot noir from the Marlborough region.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Fears of Bali booze ban quashed by local hotels association

Tell your clients not to throw out their Bintang singlets just yet, as it looks like they’ll still be able to enjoy a frosty one in Bali after all. Well, at least once the COVID-19 pandemic has settled down a bit.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Ormina Tours releases 2022 program with free cancellation offer

Writing this story made Travel Weekly’s editor thirsty for a wine or few, so much so that he’s decided to work the rest of the day from the pub.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Giant snorkeller invades Sydney Harbour as part of Tourism Tropical North Queensland’s latest campaign

Don’t worry, giants aren’t invading the city! It’s just TTNQ’s latest bid to inspire Sydneysiders to get their butts up to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Steaks on a plane: TikTok prankster appears to cook steak on aircraft toilet

How does one cook a steak using an airline toilet? Well, you’re just going to have to click on the article and find out, aren’t you?

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Joyce “optimistic” about recovery as Qantas renews trade partnerships

The national carrier revealed it has signed off on new multi-year agreements with 10 of the top 12 agencies, so if your boss was raging this morning, assume you work for one of the two that missed out.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Australia responds to the UK’s emergency approval of Pfizer vaccine

While the UK might be getting the jab as early as next week, the Australian government is holding fast to its original roll-out schedule.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Thailand to stay closed until at least March next year

The country’s Tourism Minister has thrown aside any hope for a comeback during the 2020-2021 peak season. Not that Aussie travellers are under the illusion of travelling overseas during the summer anyway.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

IHG opens two Sydney hotels in one day

The hotel giant’s regional VP of development has been run off his feet lately by all the property openings, so much so that the soles of his shoes are now in need of repair.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Virgin launches 12-hour school holiday sales blitz with more than 60,000 cheap fares

The airline has been on an absolute tear since coming out of administration, having increased its flights, gifted free thongs and now offering heaps of cheap fares.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean Group extends local cruise pause yet again

We haven’t been counting, but we’re pretty sure this is the 1,543,044th time we have reported on an extension of the cruise pause.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

South Australia’s COVID-19 scare scores TravelManagers agent client referrals

South Australia’s recent COVID scare was deja vu for many agents. And, for TravelManagers’ Emma Ross, her hard work has paid off in spades.

Share

CommentComments