What does the new-look Virgin mean for Tasmania?

ALL WORDS ATTRIBUTED DIRECTLY TO BRIAN MITCHELL MP

 

My thoughts right now are with the 3000 Australians whose jobs have been axed from the new-look Virgin Airlines under its new owners.

One-third of the company’s workforce has been let go as the company seeks to slash costs and re-fashion itself in the Australian marketplace.

The aviation industry is a critical component of our national economy, particularly in Tasmania.

It therefore beggars belief that the Morrison Government has failed to develop a national aviation plan that provides a blueprint for navigating the sector out of the pandemic.

Unfortunately, Virgin’s announcement provided no guidance to Tasmanians about what we might expect from its trimmed down model.

Tasmanians deserve to know what routes will be made available and their frequency.

Airline competition is essential for Tasmania in order to keep fares competitive. The last thing Tasmania can afford is one major airline calling the shots and setting prices on a take it or leave it basis.

One day Tasmania’s borders will re-open to the Australian mainland and to the rest of the world.

A healthy airline sector – and a national aviation plan - will be more important than ever.