Queensland Offers $200 Million Bailout to Virgin

The Queensland government has offered $200 million to help rescue Virgin Australia, as the cash-strapped airline struggles to survive.

The airline suspended trading in its shares to continue talks on financial aid and restructuring alternatives to help it weather the coronavirus downturn.

It has been unsuccessful in its request to the Australian government for $1.4 billion in loans.

Queensland State Development Minister Cameron Dicks says it was imperative Australia has two airlines, to support tourism, jobs and regional investment.

“Queensland has given Australia both our national airlines – we wont let them go, or let thousands of families watch their jobs go, without a fight,” he said in a statement on Saturday.

“But we cant do it alone, and nor should we, because all parts of Australia benefit from two national airlines.”

Dick said Queenslands support was conditional on debt restructuring, shareholders and bondholders doing their bit.

The airlines headquarters would also need to remain in Brisbane and regional flights would need to continue.

The deal will also require the federal government to chip in, he said.

Coalition MP Andrew Laming says the federal government will not assist the airline without guarantees.

“We cant be distributing taxpayers money purely on the whim of what is an ambit claim for over $1 billion unless it makes a difference,” he told ABC News.

“The ultimate solution is to get the economy rolling again.”

Federal opposition frontbencher Jason Clare called on the Morrison Government to help Virgin.

“We need two airlines. If we dont have two, well have fewer flights and flights will cost more. It wont mean just 15,000 Aussies losing their jobs, but the task of crawling out of the crater created by the coronavirus will become harder,” he said.

Think of all the tourist jobs, all the destinations that Virgin flies to, we need two airlines so weve got enough planes in the sky to help the economy recover after the worst of this virus has come and gone.

Earlier, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there will be no early end to Queenslands tough lockdown restrictions.

Authorities fear it could lead to a rapid spike in the COVID-19 infection rate.

The states infection rate continues to creep forward with six people testing positive on Friday.

The total now stands atRead More – Source