Shares across the national aviation industry have rallied as hopes grow that Australia may have overcome the worst of the coronavirus crisis.
- Qantas is now trading at $3.52, a significant increase from when shares nearly fell below $2 three weeks ago;
- Sydney Airport can be purchased for $5.68, up from a recent low of $4.37 and despite a dramatic drop in flights;
- And finally, on Tuesday, 31 March, shares in Virgin sold for 10c – twice its recent price – as speculation mounted the airline was pushing for a bailout.
The positive news comes as the government has spoken openly this week about how Australia is flattening the coronavirus curve and Prime Minister Scott Morrison admitted the country is making quicker progress than expected.
Earlier this week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian hinted coronavirus restrictions would be reviewed monthly, raising hopes the current “lockdown” could end sooner than originally expected.
The positive news for the industry comes despite its major players facing difficulties of their own.
Qantas has recently revealed that that 11 of its crew members who worked on a flight from Chile to Sydney, but didn’t undertake two-week hotel quarantine after returning home, subsequently tested positive for coronavirus.
Altogether, 50 Qantas Group staff have now been diagnosed with COVID-19, including 11 Adelaide Airport baggage handlers.
Meanwhile, the government has played down hopes Virgin Australia could be in line for a bailout, with Scott Morrison saying financial aid would only happen on a “sector-wide basis”.
The proposals would apparently see the government able to convert the package into ownership if it is not repaid in the next two to three years. The Sydney Morning Herald said a formal request was made last week, which also called for a broader $5 billion bailout for the industry.