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  • Half-price plane tickets are one of several measures being brought in to help stimulate Australia’s ailing tourism industry
  • The Federal Government has announced it’ll spend $1.2 billion on the sector, which has been ravaged by COVID-19 border restrictions
  • Around 800,000 flights to 13 different destinations across Australia will be heavily discounted under the plan
  • Qantas (QAN), Virgin and Jetstar will offer the flights, which will be available between April and July this year
  • Along with supporting tourism, the funding will also help keep airline employees employed once JobKeeper ends this month

Half-price air fares will be introduced for hundreds of thousands of domestic flights in Australia, in a bid to boost the country’s ailing tourism sector.

The Morrison Government has announced a $1.2 billion support package for the tourism industry, which has been ravaged by COVID-19 related border restrictions.

Around 800,000 flights to 13 different locations across Australia will be heavily discounted during the four months between April and July.

The areas include the Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays region, the Sunshine Coast, Uluru, Alice Springs, Launceston, Devonport, Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula and Kangaroo Island.

“This package will take more tourists to our hotels and cafes, taking tours and exploring our backyard,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“Our tourism businesses don’t want to rely on government support forever. They want their tourists back,” the PM added.

ASX-listed airline giant Qantas (QAN) and its budget spinoff Jetstar will take part in the scheme, as well as embattled airline Virgin, which was taken over by Bain Capital last year.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the airlines, as well as other tourism operators like zoos’, needed support beyond JobKeeper — the government’s wage subsidy which is due to expire this month.

“We’re also backing the workforces of our international airlines and the teams and infrastructure they need,” the Deputy PM explained.

“So that when tourism takes off again and our borders reopen, our airlines are ready to go,” he added.

The airlines will also receive additional subsidies over the next six months, to help keep them operating while international air traffic remains grounded due to the pandemic.

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