"Zero doubt" that Virgin Australia will fly to fewer places: up to 116 flights into Tasmania at risk

 

CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
 

SENATOR DON FARRELL
SHADOW SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SPORT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TOURISM
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

 

TASMANIAN LABOR TEAM

JULIE COLLINS MP, BRIAN MITCHELL MP, SENATOR CAROL BROWN, SENATOR ANNE URQUHART, SENATOR HELEN POLLEY, SENATOR CATRYNA BILYK

 

Appearing on Monday night’s Four Corners, Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah revealed that there is “zero doubt” the reborn airline will fly to fewer places. With high profits to be made on east coast capital city routes, Virgin Australia in the future will fly to fewer regional destinations.

Prior to the crisis, Virgin Australia operated up to 116 flights per week into Tasmania, with up to 80 of those services landing in Hobart and 36 in Launceston. These flights were essential to the pre-COVID economy of Tasmania, and maintaining that level of service will be integral to driving economic recovery across the state.

Fewer routes will mean fewer tourists. Prior to COVID tourism injected $3.2 billion per annum into the Tasmanian economy and directly or indirectly supported the jobs of 43,000 Tasmanians, or a massive 17.4% of all workers in the state. That is the highest proportion of any state or territory. 

If Virgin Australia is forced to cut any of its routes to Tasmania, it is local workers who will suffer most.

These route cuts will come after the Morrison Government rejected eight letters asking for assistance from the airline, preferring to allow the airline to fall into voluntary administration rather than taking any action to protect routes and jobs.
 
Fewer routes will mean higher fares and fewer services to regional communities, costing jobs across the country.
 
On Monday the Virgin chief also revealed that the airline received “mixed signals” from those around the cabinet table regarding the Government support that might be available to the stricken airline.
  
We know that there was Cabinet division, we know the Government hasn’t taken a sector-wide approach and we know routes and jobs will be lost as a result.

The Prime Minister is responsible for any job or route losses that occur as a result of his Government’s inaction

Virgin Australia Pre-Covid schedule. 

DESTINATION

MAXIMUM SCHEDULED FLIGHTS PER WEEK

Hobart

80

Launceston

36