The government is spending about $800 million to support Qantas to keep staff employed and domestic and international routes operating during COVID-19.

Under the network, Qantas maintained return flights to London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Auckland throughout the pandemic but these ceased on June 6 when the government ended funding.
Domestic services
Qantas also receives about $128 million to keep a minimum domestic aviation network operational, including regular flights between Australias capital cities and key regional centres.
“The government has commissioned Qantas and other airlines to operate flights that arent commercially viable so that key transport links can be maintained,” Qantas said, noting they operate on a cost recovery basis.
Support for Qantas and other airlines is gross of passenger ticket sales on subsidised flights, which are remitted back to the government to offset the subsidy. Qantas said this offset greatly reduced the overall cost to taxpayers.
Other airlines, including Regional Express and Virgin, are also part of the network.
Significant support
Despite its comparatively small size, Regional Express receives about $80 million in government grants funding under the Regional Airlines Funding Assistance scheme and to maintain regional routes during coronavirus.
The Financial Review has previously reported support for Regional Express is worth 21.3 per cent of the companys annual revenues or the equivalent of giving Virgin $1.2 billion and Qantas $3.8 billion.
Those figures could grow after Transport Minister Michael McCormack announced on Sunday the Domestic Aviation Network Support scheme would be extended to September 30 and the regional scheme extended to December 31.
The Australian government is doing everything possible to ensure the aviation industry is sustained throughout the pandemic so that it can rebound on the other side, Mr McCormack said.
We have kept the aviation sector going by funding minimum networks to get essential personnel and critical supplies to where they may be needed.
Qantas also receives $22.5 million under Austrades $110 million freight scheme which is designed to support hundreds of cargo flights carrying agricultural and seafood products to overseas markets.
Lobster trade
The scheme is designed to support exporters who faced increases of 50 per cent to 100 per cent in freight charges.
Getting our export sector back on its feet is crucial to reduce job losses through the crisis and a critical part of the ultimate economic recovery,” Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said when he announced the scheme in late May.
The governments support of the aviation sector has been extremely welcome and, importantly, is proportional to the size of each airline and their business,” Qantas said.