Barton Deakin Brief: Tourism and Aviation Sector Support Package

Date: Mar 2021

Tourism and Aviation Sector Support Package

11 March 2021



Today the Prime Minister has announced a $1.2 billion support package for the Aviation and Tourism sector in Australia. The program includes 800,000 half-price airfares for thirteen tourism regions, three new support programs for the aviation industry and expansion of the government’s business loans program.


Airfare Subsidisation

The government has announced that they will subsidize half of the ticket price for select tourism areas between 1 April, 2021 and ending in July 2021.

These areas are:

  • The Gold Coast
  • Cairns
  • The Whitsundays and Mackay region (Proserpine and Hamilton Island)
  • The Sunshine Coast
  • Lasseter and Alice Springs
  • Launceston, Devonport and Burnie
  • Broome
  • Avalon
  • Merimbula
  • Kangaroo Island

These cheaper airfares will be available for purchase on airline websites from 1 April 2021.


Support for the Aviation Industry

The government’s new International Aviation Support program will provide funding $200 million in funding for Qantas and Virgin between April and October 2021. This program aims to provide relief on the costs of bringing the fleet of these airlines up to international flight-ready condition and provides funding for aircraft maintenance and employee assistance.

The new Aviation Services Assistance Support Program will subsidize training and accreditation for ground crew until 31 September 2021. This will support the training for 5,000 aviation employees.

The new Domestic Airports Security Costs Support (DASCS) will provide funding to domestic airports to assist with security screening costs and will run from 29 March to 30 September 2021. This shall assist more than 50 domestic airports in meeting their regulated screening obligations at a low cost.


Extension of SME Recovery Loan Scheme

The government has announced an expansion to the existing SME recovery loan scheme with four new improvements eligible for small to medium sized businesses currently on JobKeeper. The loans will be available from 1 April 2021 and must be approved prior to 31 December 2021 and more than 350,000 JobKeeper recipients are expected to be eligible under the expansion.

Firstly, the funding of the loans will increase in government support from the current 50/50 split between the Commonwealth and the banks to an 80/20 split. This will encourage the banks to increase their investment in business and allowing more small business to access the loan.

The second change is an increase in the size of loans from $1 million to $5 million.

Thirdly, the government will expand the amount of eligible businesses with an increase in the business turnover amount from $50 million to $250 million.

The final change to the scheme is an increased in the duration of the loans from five years.


Additional Program Extensions

The government has also announced an extension to the Business events grants program and the Zoos and Aquarium Program. The Business events program will get a $50 million increase and be extended by three months and cover up to 50% of the costs of the multi-day business events.

The Zoos and Aquariums program will be extended by six months for $94.6 million and shall help zoos and aquariums maintain their animal population where their revue has been affected by COVID restrictions.


For more information


For more information, contact David Alexander on +61 457 400 524, Grahame Morris on +61 411 222 680, Tahlia Robertson on +61 438 259 671, Cheryl Cartwright on +61 419 996 066 or Jack de Hennin on +61 424 828 127.