Aviation industry measures
Under the support package, discounts will be halved on tens of thousands of fares per week across 13 key tourism regions in the country.
The half-price ticket program will initially operate in regions including the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays and Mackay region (Proserpine and Hamilton Island), the Sunshine Coast, Lasseter and Alice Springs, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula and Kangaroo Island.
The discounts will be off the average fare and will be available on airline websites from 1 April. In addition, flights, routes and the total number of tickets will be driven by demand and are subject to final discussions with the airlines.
Other new measures in the support package include new international aviation support to help international passenger airlines maintain more than 8,000 core jobs.
Support has also been announced for regular passenger airports to meet their domestic security screening costs.
Meanwhile, the government revealed a new Aviation Services Assistance Support Program to help ground-handling companies meet the costs of mandatory training, certification and accreditation to ensure they maintain their workforces so they can stand them back up when the market expands again.
It also said it will reinstate domestic aviation security screening cost rebates for more than 50 regular passenger airports.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the measures would work hand in hand to boost interstate tourism and aviation in key regions significantly impacted by the loss of tourists.
“We will continue to financially support flights which are so key to health services, employment opportunities and social activities,” Mr McCormack said.
“We’re also backing the workforces of our international airlines and the teams and infrastructure they need so that when tourism takes off again and our borders reopen, our airlines are ready to go.”
Tourism industry measures
The government said it has extended the following programs to 30 September 2021:
- the Domestic Aviation Network Support (DANS) and Regional Aviation Network Support (RANS) programs
- the 50 per cent waiver of domestic air services charges for Regular Public Transport (RPT) and aeromedical flights
- the International Freight Assistance Mechanism
The Business Events Grants Program will also be extended by three months to support Australian businesses to hold multi-day business events, covering up to 50 per cent of costs incurred in participating business events during the 2021 calendar year.
Further, the government also announced the $94.6 million Zoos and Aquarium program will be extended by six months to support zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks to maintain their animal populations where their tourism revenue has been affected by travel and social distancing restrictions.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said every dollar spent on an Australian holiday is a dollar that supports a local job and a local business.
“Our government’s support package will help get more Australians into those tourist areas most impacted by border lockdowns, and we need states and territories to do their part by agreeing to a nationally consistent approach to using border closures and lockdowns as a last resort on medical advice,” Mr Tehan said.