Govt spends $165m to operate domestic flights as Virgin Australia goes into voluntary administration

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The Australian Federal Government is spending $165 million to keep domestic flights running during the lockdown.

The government is underwriting the cost of the flights, which will service all state and territory capitals, plus some major regional centres like Alice Springs, Rockhampton, Townsville and Tamworth.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said sustaining Australia’s aviation industry is critical.

“We know that a strong domestic aviation network is critical to Australia’s success and today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment, yet again, to maintaining connectivity during this pandemic,” Mr McCormack said.

“This investment will also help Australians returning from overseas, who find themselves in a different city after 14 days of mandatory quarantine, complete their journey home safely.”

This story comes as Virgin Australia has announced entry into voluntary administration after talks with the government for specific funding failed.

Virgin Australia will continue to run scheduled domestic and international flights, as well as freight services as professional services firm, Deloitte, restructure its $5 billion debt.