Episode 607: Quarantinny News from Down Under

It’s been a while since our last Australia Desk and the boys have been busy in their isolation. Grant’s picked up a new, sexy microphone & studio gear while Steve’s been busy perfecting his speed editing while working on more podcasts than even Max produces!

Despite Grant not being able to fly on an airliner since early March, he’s not let that stop him from obtaining new status levels with airlines around the planet. He’s even managed to obtain Qatar Platinum status which is the equivalent of One World Emerald, all while working from home. Who knew?

During the COVID lockdowns and border closures, Qantas and Virgin have been operating repatriation flights between overseas locations and Australia to return citizens and residents, where-upon they will undertake a mandatory 14 day quarantine period in a hotel at the tax payers’ expense. Unfortunately the subsidies for these flights from the Federal Government are winding up this weekend so both airlines have said they will suspend them.

Out of interest, New Zealand has declared itself COVID free after going 17 days without a new case turning up. While this has many Australians talking of a “Trans Tasman Bubble” of flights between the two countries, the Kiwis are less than enthused about opening up their borders to any country that still has new cases appearing.

Meanwhile, Virgin Australia is in adminstration (like Chapter 11 in the USA) and the field of suitors has been whittled down to two serious bidders: Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners. We should know more in a few weeks how this plays out as the Queensland government are apparently working with both groups to ensure that Virgin Australia keeps its headquarters in Brisbane and it’s likely that the company’s many debts will be written down.

So that’s about all the news and info we could fit into this episode, even though we’ve gone over our usual 10 minute limit, although we did note that Max was talking on a certain British show about hanging out in seedy podcaster bars. What could possibly go wrong with that? Well, listen to the end to find out… :)

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