Virgin, unions urge aviation virus support

Virgin Australia and unions have reiterated calls for wage subsidies to be extended after Victoria and NSW agreed to shut their border.

Employers and workers have written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking for “aviation keeper” to be paid to all workers in the sector.

The scheme would extend beyond September, when JobKeeper payments are slated to end, and be phased out as domestic and international borders reopen.

Confidence in flying returning to normal would be key to phasing out coronavirus support.

A range of other companies in the sector, including catering and air services providers, also signed the letter.

Transport Workers’ Union national secretary Michael Kaine says the federal government needs to decide if it would risk mass redundancies in aviation.

“We are at a critical moment where businesses and jobs are just about clinging on but without a signal of ongoing support, they will be lost,” he said.

“The border closure between NSW and Victoria is a major setback for the industry, and comes as the two domestic airlines struggle.”

The border between the two states will close from midnight on Tuesday.

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