Virgin Australia is seeking financial support from the Federal Government to survive the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.
The carrier, Australia’s second biggest after Qantas, wants a rescue package of up to $1.4 billion, The Australian reported on Tuesday.
Virgin Australia has confirmed it is seeking financial help but has not confirmed the amount or nature of any potential bailout.
It could involve the Government becoming a part-owner.
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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg declined to comment on any “specifics”, saying “we support strongly, the aviation industry”.
“I’ve been in close contact with leaders of the business community including the aviation sector (Virgin boss) Paul Scurrah and (Qantas chief) Alan Joyce,” he told ABC radio.
“But we have already illustrated our commitment to having a viable, sustainable aviation sector with more than $700 million in fees being waived.”
Mr Frydenberg said the transport of freight and people was important to the economy.
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“We’ll continue that dialogue with key stakeholders,” he said.
The airline recently cut its workforce by 80 per cent and its capacity by 90 per cent.
Global credit rating agency Fitch on Monday put Virgin Australia on rating watch negative, citing a drop in demand in the aviation market due to the coronavirus.