What is the Regional Airline Network Support Program?

The Regional Airline Network Support Program is a grant opportunity to support critical air services to connect regional Australia to freight, medical testing, supplies and essential personnel according to the criteria in the Grant Guidelines.

 

Background

The Regional Airline Network Support Program was announced as part of the Government’s response to the economic impact of COVID-19. The objective of this Grant Opportunity is to assist domestic commercial airlines operating services at the Regular Public Transport (RPT) aviation safety standard to regional locations to maintain a basic level of connectivity across their network of regional routes.

The Government has announced Another grant opportunity to assist airlines include the Australian Airline Financial Relief grants.  The objective of that program is to assist the domestic airline industry in response to the economic pressures created by the impact of COVID-19 by reducing operational cost pressures to improve the ability of airlines to maintain services.

Commercial airlines are facing dramatically falling demand on forward services.  This Grant Opportunity will support regional communities relying on air freight and the transport of essential and other personnel by providing a basic level of air connectivity.  Australia Post also utilises the regional network, managing medical deliveries and maintaining connectivity with mail and parcel deliveries.

 

Funding

The Australian Government has announced a total of $198 million across 2019-20 and 2020-21 for the Program.  The amount of the grant will be the subject of negotiation with the airline based on the range and scope of services to be provided.

This grant opportunity will open on 28 March 2020 and closes on 31 August 2020. The services supported by this Grant Opportunity are for flights undertaken during period  28 March to 30 September 2020.

 

Eligibility

To be eligible you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be registered for the purposes of GST
  • have an account with an Australian financial institution
  • be one of the following entity types:

AND satisfy the following eligible air service activities criterion:

you must:

  • have a Regular Public Transport RPT (RPT) Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and have been operating public commercial air services to/from regional and/or remote location(s) in accordance with your RPT AOC pre-COVID19 (February 2020).

Any air operator operating domestic RPT air services can apply for a grant to support that part of its pre-COVID19 RPT network serving regional locations, to operate one return service per week on each route, for a period of up to 6 weeks initially. The application may then also include providing the services for a longer period.

The purpose of the grant is to under-write these services on a shortfall subsidy basis, with the cost offset by remaining commercial revenue from passengers and freight.

 

Timing

Applications close 31 August 2020.

 

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