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Australian airports face indefinite shutdown threat over fallout from Virgin collapse

Australian airports face indefinite shutdown threat over fallout from Virgin collapse
Australian airports could reportedly shutdown indefinitely as major ground operations company Swissport considers dramatically cutting staff and liquidating assets.
Executive vice-president Asia-Pacific Glenn Rutherford says Virgin's collapse has had a knock-on impact on his company with the airline owing Swissport several million dollars in unpaid bills.
Swissport is looking at cutting up to 80 per cent of its staff.
A general view of the empty Virgin Australia boarding gates at Sydney Domestic Airport. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) (AAP)
"This will have a material impact when (the government) eventually turns the industry back on," Mr Rutherford told The Australian.
"As soon as they open the borders and gates, it may take months ... and all those skills and equipment will be gone. There will be a crisis in getting it back into operation."
The newspaper reports that the mothballing of Swissport could impact border security as well with its staff trained to keep an eye out for terrorism and criminal threats in the nation's airports.
Virgin Australia has announced it has gone into voluntary administration but will continue to operate. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING (AAP)
Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Michael McCormack will consider an $125 million bailout request from Swissport.
"I will seriously look at what they put in front of me ... I'm happy to talk to the company ... I understand what role they play," he told The Australian.
"I wouldn't downplay what they have put in front of me ... we will treat it in the normal way. I don't treat this as an ambit claim."
© AAP 2020