THE Australian Logistics Council has welcomed the Commonwealth government’s investment of an initial $165m to support the domestic air network during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief executive Kirk Coningham said this investment would assist the movement of domestic freight and help consumers get their deliveries more efficiently.

“Grounding the bulk of Australia’s domestic commercial aircraft fleet has produced a flow-on effect in our supply chains, given that more than 80 per cent of air freight is ordinarily carried in the cargo hold of passenger planes,” Mr Coningham said.

“This has placed significant pressure on freight operators, particularly where freight of a critical nature such as medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs to reach its destination quickly.”

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Mr Coningham said the federal government’s decision to provide financial support to allow commercial airlines to operate a minimum domestic network would relieve some supply chain pressures.

“It builds on the announcement earlier this month of support for air freight exports through a $110m International Freight Assistance Mechanism,” he said.

“ALC also appreciates the government’s commitment to continue monitoring the situation and determine if further action is needed once the initial eight-week operation of the minimum domestic network has passed.”

Mr Coningham said the ALC would remain “actively engaged” with the federal government as the COVID-19 pandemic continued.

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