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Devastating day for Virgin pilots and Australia’s aviation industry

August 6, 2020 Aviation No Comments Email Email

VIPA says it is devastated at today’s announcement that we anticipate that in excess of 30% of the Virgin pilot group will lose their jobs.

This decision impacts pilots flying the wide body (B777 and A330, internationally) and ATR72. At this stage we are unsure of the impact upon the B737 Virgin fleet.

The total number of pilots who will be made redundant is likely to be approximately 400 of the 1400 remaining VA Group pilots. VIPA represents more than half of these pilots, who have more than 20,000 years of flight experience between them.

“The knock-on effect this decision will have on the economy is significant; including future skills shortages, loss of technical experience and the inability to retain skilled Australian pilots,” VIPA President John Lyons said today.

“The Federal Government has let down these Virgin employees and the Australian aviation industry as a whole by not providing specific support, as well as the travelling public – this is the exact opposite action that governments in the US, UK and Europe have taken.

“Given the specialist nature of these roles, our workers’ skills are not easily transferable and take years to secure, so they dedicate their careers to these jobs. This is devastating news for them, but also very sad news for the Australian public at large who will undoubtedly see an increase in fares and decrease in services as a result.”

VIPA, in conjunction with the ACTU, worked very hard as a group to maximise as many jobs as possible were kept and to ensure that full entitlements would be paid for those made redundant.

VIPA will maintain pressure on Bain to keep its commitment to establish and fund Virgin Australia as a sustainable and successful business if required during recovery.

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