AIRLINE and prominent carrier of both people and freight, Virgin Australia, has announced it is going into “a trading halt”.

According to a statement released on the Australian Stock Exchange, the halt is pending “an announcement”.

The trading halt is to remain in place until the earlier of when the announcement is made or when trading on the ASX resumes on Thursday.

The company has publicly sought $1.4bn in government assistance as Coronavirus has grounded most airlines and forced an end to both international and domestic air travel and the associated movement of goods.

The Transport Workers’ Union has called on the federal government to implement a national plan to save the aviation industry.

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“The federal government needs to make a bold, aggressive move, like it did on the wage subsidy, and ensure the survival of Virgin and the thousands of jobs that depend on it,” TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said.

“There is no doubt that other airlines and aviation companies will need similar assistance which is why we are urging a national plan for the sector.”

Mr Kaine said other airlines were also under pressure.

“Virgin is in difficulty now as is Rex but how long can Qantas hold out with no planes flying?” he said.

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