Virgin airline flights to Adelaide could be cut following revelations today that the airline was reviewing all domestic services in the wake of a near $350 million loss over the past financial year.
Labor today called on Liberal Premier, Steven Marshall, to personally vigorously lobby for the airline to maintain its existing schedule of flights to Adelaide.
Losing flights will have a knock-on affect for the South Australian tourism industry which has already been dealt a series of blows over the past month, including:
- Singapore Airlines closing its Adelaide office
- Adelaide failing to win direct flights from the USA in negotiations with United Airlines
- Fiji Airways announcing it was cutting direct flights to Adelaide
Interstate and international visitors account for $3.6 billion of total expenditure in South Australia.
The South Australian tourism industry directly employs 36,000 jobs.
The Marshall Liberal Government is cutting $23 million from the tourism budget over five years. In its first budget last year $11 million was cut. This year, the Government announced $12 million worth of additional cuts over four years and reducing the tourism marketing budget to a five-year low.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison
The Premier must personally intervene to ensure Virgin flights to Adelaide are not cut. It’s too important to leave to the muddling Minister for Tourism who has already shown he’s not capable of working with the Tourism Industry.
Losing flights will mean losing tourists and in turn losing jobs.
The Marshall Liberal Government doesn’t understand the tourism industry and the support it needs to stay viable. They have already cut $23 million from the tourism marketing budget since the election.