The Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) has strengthened calls for Federal Government support for a “Pilot Keeper” skills retention and training package targeting the aviation industry.
AIPA President Mark Sedgwick said jobs continue to be shed from aviation which underpins trade, tourism and investment in a sector employing more than 700,000 people.
“AIPA had put a proposal to government to ensure Australia’s pilot workforce was flight ready to stand up to active duty once restrictions ease and demand returns.”
“Pilots need government support for skills retention study and training because support isn’t coming from Australian operators while pilots are stood down due to ongoing travel bans.”
“Without support to maintain pilots’ vital skills our economy will suffer.”
Mr Sedgwick said aviation was the first industry to be impacted by the coronavirus, with most Australian pilots stood down without pay or training for the past 20 weeks.
“Almost all of Australia’s long-haul pilots are stood down indefinitely, cut off from training with no income – potentially for years due to the government’s border policy.”
“We now have more devastating news for the aviation industry with Virgin announcing staff cuts just two months after Qantas announced it would cut 6,000 jobs.”
Mr Sedgwick said a slow return to domestic flying had now been severely reduced because of the outbreak of Covid-19 in Victoria along with more stringent border closures and in some cases hotel quarantine for domestic travellers.
“The entire industry has been decimated and we must ensure we have the skills in place for when it comes time to rebuild the economy.”
The call by AIPA follows