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Queensland government offers Virgin bailout package

written by Staff reporter | April 18, 2020

The Palaszczuk government has announced this morning it will offer $200 million towards a national package to support COVID-19 impacted airline Virgin.

The offer is contingent to a similar backing from the federal government plus other states and territories.

Its support is also conditional on a debt restructuring undertaking at the airline as well as shareholder and bondholder support.

Virgin is currently headquartered in Brisbane, and the funding lifeline will only be available should the airline maintain its Queensland corporate presence.

The Brisbane headquarters alone supports a workforce of over 5,000 people.


Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who is also the federal Transport Minister, has welcomed the Queensland offer of assistance – specifically the support of regional Australia and the maintenance of air routes and choice for domestic travel.

“If we’re going to have two national airlines at the other side of this pandemic, all governments need to come together to ensure that is the case; we need a national response,” he said.

The Morrison government has already made a significant investment into airline support, with $165 million to keep Qantas and Virgin operating essential domestic services to metropolitan and regional locations.

Virgin has requested a $1.4 billion loan from the federal government, which it has yet to successfully secure.

Deputy PM McCormack’s remarks affirming the need of two major carriers was echoed by Queensland State Development Minister Cameron Dick via a statement made today.

“Queensland has given Australia both our national airlines – we won’t let them go, or let thousands of families watch their jobs go, without a fight,” he said.

“But we can’t do it alone, and nor should we, because all parts of Australia benefit from two national airlines.”

More to follow.

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Comments (15)

  • Paul


    Well if this is conditional on shareholder support this announcement is too late. The shareholders have already said no additional support.

  • Ken Hayes


    Well said, Cameron Dick; and a reminder to to those who don’t know what the Q in Qantas stands for, and where the airline began, as did Virgin.

  • This offer from the Queensland Government is typical. It is the offer you make when are not really making an offer. It is all about the State Election so the Government can be seen to do something. In addition to the $200m if she was serious it would be unconditional and offer a sovereign guarantee of her Government for the remaining $1.2 billion. The Queensland Government doesn’t even realise that key VA decisions have been made in Sydney since John Borghetti arrived and moved key Executives to a Sydney office also used by Scurrah. Peter Beattie when Premier bought a dud in what he provided to VA to get them to set up in Bowen Hills. Another poor decision was the number of working visas given to Branson when VB was set up which saw people bought in from overseas when there was better qualified AUSTRALIANS available from the Ansett demise.The shareholders don’t want to step in so why should Government take the risk.

  • mark


    why not move the headquarters to a regional city eg Townsville would be well placed.
    Brisbane is too congested and overpopulated so why not move these jobs to a large regional

  • Oliver Mitchell


    This is not good. This is purely for some votes for the upcoming election. 200million vs 5 billion debt just lets them stay open to screw employees in a couple of months time.

    What a joke.

  • Scott


    Fantastic Leadership and vision Queensland Government. Let’s hope all pitch in and support Virgin through the crisis.

  • james


    so a smaller Virgin will maybe have 1/2 the staff & 1/3 the wages bill ?

  • TD


    Maybe all of this should be a topic at the National Council meeting . Wouldn’t it be great if the shareholders showed their cards so that a uniformed approach to restructure ownership and funding went hand in hand with the ultimate aim to keep Virgin operating in Australia for Australian s alongside Qantas. We need both of them in the air working for Australia s future. The money required is equivalent to 5 beers / wines and 5 cups of coffee per Australian. Think of the millions saved by taxpayers (roughly $1 M per day) just from the directly employed Virgin/Tiger teams that would follow on until they were all employed again .

  • Trevor Long


    And if the Feds don’t weigh in, which I doubt they will, Qld goes deeper into debt!

  • Not before time, that Australian woke to the fact that Australian business’s must be supported. I read only today, that China wants to by “Virgin” Queensland, the first step to controlling the world’s Airlines, this must NOT be allowed to happen, China has already bought out all of Australia’s Industries, if this latest offer from China is accepted, this will be further proof of Australia’s politicians greed in selling us out, what we need now is a complete change in government, and employ people who really care of Australia’s welfare, and the sacke politicians should be denied any payments hereafter .

  • Monirul Sheikh


    Some in the industry says it is a badly run company, I did not say that, Alan Joyce is very vocal on that. Mix up in its fleet is very interesting. Why does it have those 2 A320 and very few A330 are just a good example. I think they have good products, better than Qantas in every sense. But lacks in professionalism.

  • David WW Olley


    I can’t see how any Government can justify putting money into a Commercial Private Sector Business which has not operated at a profit for a number of years. Such a company would fail the “credit worthiness” test by any rational investor. I know Virgin has its base in Queensland and employs a number of people there, but that business and its penetration does not of its own support such monetary intervention by the Government of Queensland or any other Form (including Federal). Virgin should be left to workout its own solution, and its Shareholders and Trade Creditors and Financial Creditors should be the ones called upon…..Not Government.

  • Stewart Lowe


    It’s when you see all of these large, expensive aircraft lined up on the ground that you (me anyway) understand the danger to an airline’s survival not flying money making routes poses.

  • Jake


    SUCKERS! Tax payers money on a company operating like Holden!
    I hope you like your kids paying tax for failing business’s !

  • Perry


    Sending Virgin to badgerys creek will Definitely send it broke. Even cockroaches would die out there!

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