Qantas job shock sparks airline help

Original article by Phillip Coorey, Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 26-Jun-20

The federal government is set to provide a coronavirus assistance package for the nation’s airlines in the wake of plans by Qantas to retrench 6,000 employees. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it is clear that the sector will continue to require government assistance when the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme ends in late September. He has flagged the possibility of extending JobKeeper or providing an industry-specific support package. Morrison has previously rejected a request from Virgin Australia to extend the JobKeeper scheme.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH

Coalition pressure to rescue Virgin

Original article by Simon Benson, Sarah Elks
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 20-Apr-20

It is understood that Virgin Australia could be placed into voluntary administration within days unless the federal government steps in to save the airline or it can be rescued by the private sector. Former Queensland premier Peter Beattie, who gave Virgin $10 million to base its headquarters in Brisbane in 2000, says the tourism sector would be "devastated" if the airline goes under. Federal Liberal MP Jason ­Falinski believes that Virgin needs to be kept afloat, and that the federal government and taxpayers may end up being the "buyer of last resort".

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Tourism braces for Virgin blow

Original article by Lisa Allen
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 16-Apr-20

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has reiterated that Virgin Australia Holdings’ shareholders rather than taxpayers should bail out the struggling airline. However, tourism and travel industry executives have warned against the prospect of Qantas having a monopoly on domestic routes if Virgin collapses. Flight Centre CEO Graham Turner says a two-airline system is essential for the nation, while Webjet MD John Guscic says the demise of Virgin would make it harder for the tourism industry to recover. Meanwhile, new figures show that international tourism arrivals fell by 26 per cent in February.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, FLIGHT CENTRE TRAVEL GROUP LIMITED – ASX FLT, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, WEBJET LIMITED – ASX WEB

Virgin ups ante with threat of administration

Original article by Lucas Baird, Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 20 : 15-Apr-20

Shares in Virgin Australia Holdings were placed in a trading halt on 14 April as the embattled carrier continues to seek financial assistance. The federal government is resisting Virgin’s push for taxpayers’ support, prompting Virgin to warn that it may appoint voluntary administrators within a month if it does not receive a bailout. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has emphasised that any government assistance for the aviation sector must be industry-wide. Labor leader Anthony Albanese contends that the government could take an equity stake in Virgin and sell it in the future.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Virgin CEO in Canberra bailout pitch

Original article by Robyn Ironside, Bridget Carter
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 14-Apr-20

The federal government is believed to be considering additional financial support for the nation’s airlines, to ensure that passenger and freight services continue on essential domestic routes. Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah has been lobbying government ministers and Labor frontbenchers to secure support for a proposed $1.4bn loan facility for the struggling carrier. Virgin could opt for a creditor’s scheme of arrangement if government support is not forthcoming; this could result in a debt-for-equity swap, which would have to be approved by shareholders and a court. Labor has backed calls for the government to provide more financial support for Virgin.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Qantas monopoly risk if Virgin is allowed to fail, warns boss

Original article by Lucas Baird, Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 18 : 3-Apr-20

Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah has dismissed suggestions that the struggling airline is seeking a federal government bailout. He argues that the $1.4bn loan facility that Virgin is seeking would have to be repaid eventually. Scurrah also warns that Qantas could emerge with a long-term monopoly in the domestic market if Virgin collapses. The government would allow a new entrant to the market, but CAPA Centre for Aviation chairman Peter Harbison says regulatory approvals would take some time, which would further entrench Qantas’s market dominance.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, CAPA – CENTRE FOR AVIATION