International Aviation Support

What is the International Aviation Support?

The International Aviation Support is a grant program to maintain a core Australian international aviation capability and ensure Australian airlines can quickly recommence commercial international flights as international restrictions are lifted.



The International Aviation Support grant represents part of the Australian Government’s continued economic response to COVID-19, providing financial assistance to Australia’s eligible international airlines to assist the recovery of the aviation sector.  This grant will run over seven months from 1 April to 31 October 2021. Grant payments may be suspended or varied during the course of the grant period should international border restrictions be lifted prior to the conclusion of the grant.

Due to COVID-19, international aviation continues to be heavily affected by restrictions on international passenger departures and arrivals. Australian international airlines have made operational decisions to suspend scheduled international passenger services (excluding repatriation flights and a small number of trans-Tasman services), place most international aircraft in storage and stand down a large proportion of its international workforce.



The objective of this grant is to support Australian international airlines to:

  • preserve international aviation jobs;
  • ensure retention of aviation skills; and
  • facilitate a quick resumption of Australian scheduled international airline passenger services when restrictions on international departures and arrivals are lifted.



The Australian Government will provide a total of $200 million over seven months for the International Aviation Support grant, starting in April 2021.

The grant funding made available to an eligible Australian international airline will be determined by the Department. This determination will be based on the proportion of the airline’s international passenger services (excluding the Trans-Tasman route where commercial operations are already available through the One Way Safe Travel Zone) relative to other Australian international airlines operating services to/from Australia before all scheduled passenger services were suspended by Australian designated airlines.

The funding will be provided through an up-front monthly payment to the eligible airline. It will run from 1 April to 31 October 2021.


Eligible Projects

Grant funds must be used for grant activities agreed with the Department under the grant agreement.

The reasonable eligible activities must be directly attributable to the capability and readiness of the airline’s international aviation passenger services and may include:

  • Staffing (including payment of stood down staff)
  • Aviation training, skills and certification
  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Aircraft storage

Costs that will be eligible for grant funding will be determined by the Department in the grant agreement and are the reasonable costs directly attributable to the maintenance of an agreed level of international aviation capability, and include:

  • employee support and retention payments to maintain an agreed level of the airline’s international workforce, including retention and supplement payments for stood down staff or those working reduced hours, and payments to support staff undertaking training;
  • training to ensure skilled international workers maintain skills and currency necessary to transition back to flying when international borders open;
  • maintain or prepare international aircraft for flight-ready condition; and
  • costs associated with bringing aircraft out of storage.

The Delegate makes the final decision on what is eligible expenditure and may give additional guidance on eligible expenditure from time to time if required.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible you must:

  • hold a current Australian International Airline Licence to operate scheduled international passenger services as a designated airline of Australia (issued under the Air Navigation Regulations 2016).
  • have operated international Regular Public Transport services in 2019-20.

The Department will invite eligible airlines to apply in writing, you cannot apply without an invitation.

A joint application can be submitted on behalf of multiple applicants. An applicant must be incorporated in Australia.

In the case of a joint application, a lead applicant must be selected to apply for the grant.



Applications close 28 March 2021.


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