Airline tickets will be sold at half price to 800,000 travellers in a federal bid to help the tourism industry survive the pandemic by encouraging more Australians to book flights.
The federal subsidy will run from April to July to increase flights to priority tourist destinations as part of a $1.2 billion package that answers months of industry calls for assistance.
Customers will see the subsidy in lower prices for flights to regions including the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays, the Sunshine Coast, Alice Springs, Launceston, Broome, regional Victoria, Merimbula, and Kangaroo Island.
Airlines will also receive federal payments to keep about 8600 workers in jobs until international travel resumes in November, with Qantas and Virgin asked to prove their “readiness” to restart long-haul flights.
The package will include low-cost loans for small employers that are due to lose the JobKeeper wage subsidy at the end of this month, offering them up to $5 million over 10 years with no repayments in the next two years.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce the package on Thursday with a message to Australians about the advantage of domestic travel while the borders remain closed to international tourists.
Source: Civil Aviation Authority – Qatar