MIAMI – An Australian airline advocacy group has lambasted a new border closure in the state of Queensland as “devastating” and “totally baffling.”
The group, Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ) represents Qantas (QF), Jetstar (JQ), Air New Zealand (NZ), Virgin Australia (VA), and Regional Express (ZL).
While Queensland will open its borders to most of New South Wales, the Greater Sydney area and Victoria will remain excluded from the openings, stifling the potential of the huge airline markets of Sydney (SYD) and Melbourne (MEL).
Prof Graeme Samuel AC, Chairman of A4ANZ said “Australia’s domestic airlines have worked tirelessly since the start of this pandemic to support essential, COVID Safe travel, and manage risk on the basis of health and medical advice. Our members are simply perplexed, however, by the approach taken today which just extends the uncertainty for so many Australians”.
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While airlines vigorously disagree with such a closure in Queensland, Australia has been witnessing a spike in COVID-19 cases as the pandemic rages on with Greater Sydney having been declared a “hotspot” by the Queensland Government.
Prof Samuel further added, “classifying the 32 Local Government Areas (LGAs) that represent Greater Sydney as a ‘hot-spot’ when they do not meet the definition agreed to by National Cabinet, on advice from the Acting Chief Medical Officer, is hard to understand and even harder to accept.”
While groups like A4ANZ are raging about the border closures brought by the Queensland state government, it seems that both sides will have to compromise to ensure that service can safely resume amid a raging pandemic and mounting airline losses.
Featured image: Boeing 787 Photo: Qantas