The Australian industry group representing ground handlers has warned 6,000 jobs are likely to be lost if there isn’t financial help for its members when JobKeeper expires in September.
“We may not be as well-known as the airlines, but we are the ones doing plenty of the heavy lifting. We need clarity and support from government. Without aviation ground handling staff, there are no flights.” The Australian Aviation Ground Handlers Industry Alliance said.
Oceania Aviation Services managing director Bruce Stokes, speaking on behalf of the AAGHIA: “The aviation ground handling sector protects Australians from terrorists, illegal narcotics and organised crime, and sustains the $69 billion air transport industry, that directly and indirectly supports 716,000 jobs.
“The sector operates on slim margins so it needs large volumes of aircraft movements to survive.
“While interstate travel restrictions are expected to ease in coming months, forecast domestic travel demand will only return to 50 per cent of capacity by the end of the year, well past the ending of the JobKeeper support package in September 2020.
“By that time, the aviation ground operations sector may have permanently cut thousands of jobs, some of which are highly specialised and technical in nature, in order to carry on.”
The JobKeeper package was introduced to provide coronavirus-effected business with $1,500 per employee, per fortnight. Companies are then legally obliged to pass that payment onto workers in a bid to keep the economy active during the pandemic.