Virgin CEO joins calls for international borders to reopen, requests plan from government

jakeseven7

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Virgin CEO Jayne Hrdlicka warns Australia 'can't keep COVID out forever' and needs to now plan to reopen borders



Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka says Australia cannot keep its borders shut indefinitely despite the risk of COVID-19.

"We can't keep [COVID] out forever," she said. “It will make us sick but it won’t put us into hospital. Some people may die but it will be way smaller than the flu.”

"The question when we will be sufficiently vaccinated to protect our people and our hospital system to open our international borders,"

Labor's health spokesman Mark Butler said the Virgin CEO’s comments were not helpful.

"I'm not sure, with the greatest respect, that those sorts of contributions are going to do much to bend the will of the Australian public to what she wants to do," Mr Butler said.

However the Australian Medical Association joined calls from the New South Wales government and some business leaders for the federal government to provide a roadmap for when borders could reopen.

 

jakeseven7

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Basically, she's right, there doesn't seem to be a real plan at the moment. And opening the borders will let it in. So, it's going to be a challenging conversation.

Yes agree however her words were unfortunately pretty poorly chosen which has let to some people and politicians slamming her in the media.

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Virgin boss says Australia’s borders should reopen sooner than mid-2022 even though ‘some people may die’​


Virgin Airlines is standing by its chief executive’s comment that Australia’s borders should reopen sooner than the middle of next year even though “some people may die”.

“We’re forgetting the fact that we’ve learnt how to live with lots of viruses and challenges over the years and [Australia] has to learn how to live with this.” she said.

Like all commercial airlines, Virgin has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year the company collapsed into administration, before being sold to Boston-based private equity giant Bain Capital for $3.5bn.



 
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Mattg

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I agree with her sentiment, despite the poor choice of words which were obviously going to be picked up by the media and taken out of context.

We do need a proper plan to reopen international borders and the federal government doesn't seem to have one.
 

oz_mark

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The words were probably a bit blunt for some. The idea that you can keep the virus out forever seems to be a bit ambitious.

Unfortunately I can't see the politicians grappling with this pre federal election.
 

dk4

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The words were probably a bit blunt for some.
Undoubtedly they were likely an accurate appraisal of the future situation for the country, but IMO they are not words that should be uttered publicly by a large corporate CEO, because it can sound a lot like "I want people to die, so my business can thrive".

It is IMO a public discussion that politicians and those in the correct medical fields should be starting though, but I agree that is unlikely to happen with a federal election looming.
 

AisleSeat

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Undoubtedly they were likely an accurate appraisal of the future situation for the country, but IMO they are not words that should be uttered publicly by a large corporate CEO, because it can sound a lot like "I want people to die, so my business can thrive".
And that's what people have surmised. She's trending at #3 on Twitter for not good reasons.

VA have just put out a response to her comments.

 
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drron

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Undoubtedly they were likely an accurate appraisal of the future situation for the country, but IMO they are not words that should be uttered publicly by a large corporate CEO, because it can sound a lot like "I want people to die, so my business can thrive".

It is IMO a public discussion that politicians and those in the correct medical fields should be starting though, but I agree that is unlikely to happen with a federal election looming.
Well Dr Coatsworth and Prof Sutton have both come out with similiar statements saying it is time to consider opening our borders although it would cause a jump in covid cases.
 

desafinado74

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100% agree with her. The Flight Centre CEO on 3AW this morning also agreed with Jayne. And the AMA president has also said the same thing. These people should be running the country instead of the current clowns in Canberra.
 

N860CR

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100% agree with her. The Flight Centre CEO on 3AW this morning also agreed with Jayne. And the AMA president has also said the same thing. These people should be running the country instead of the current clowns in Canberra.

The whole pandemic has proven just how gullible the Australian population is. It’s certainly changed my view on the country. How many people generally die in nursing homes? How many people catch serious viruses everyday? 99.9% of people wouldn’t have a clue, but they run for the doona when somebody says COVID. It’s embarrassing, and I’ve grown to respect the Americans a lot more for not bending over and accepting a freedom-stealing pineapple.

Hrdlicka is 110% correct, of course. But the truth doesn’t sell newspapers (nor win votes).
 

Berlin

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Yea- let them die to make a buck. Typical Virgin if you ask me- not at all surprised.
 

N860CR

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Can you elaborate what "typical Virgin" means? Some examples would be appreciated.

Probably dates back to the virgin blue days when they had those banners that said “Our hosties are young, so people in end of life care should die”
 

RooFlyer

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We do need a proper plan to reopen international borders and the federal government doesn't seem to have one.

What would a 'plan' right now look like? Presumably opening time includes some % of the Australian population being vaccinated. But they can't make people get vaccinated, so what happens if that % isn't met? Presumably it would include recognition of the risks of people going to, and coming from overseas countries. But how could they define that? Perhaps a % of that countries' population vaccinated - but what if that country has porous borders (Like the vast majority of them do).

I can't see any point in announcing a 'roadmap' now, as the only think you could be sure of is that it wouldn't be the path actually taken.
 

drron

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Well even a simple plan without dates would do like Peter Gutwein did for Tassie a year ago.Things such as vaccinated citizens getting permits to leave the country and possibly where they might go -eg have a list of countries like the UK.Maybe if you only visited places on the green list then home quarantine,and if in amber countries then HQ and a ban on places on the red list.
Maybe giving targets such as 50% vaccinated then borders open to all vaccinated people with returns as above.
Give us the plan of when complete opening is considered-our vaccination targets,what it takes for countries to be on the green list etc.

They certainly are not going to give us actual dates as there is no one who really knows when this pandemic has run it's course.Besides they did that with the vaccine schedules and have copped the blame for Pfizer and AZ not delivering on time plus the blood clot issues and the scare campaign around that.
 

Berlin

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How exactly is it typical? Typical in that it is being truthful and honest?

It maybe blunt, but are her comments incorrect?
I personally find those comments absolutely shameful- peoples' lives should always go first, full stop.

So yes, they're disgusting- exactly like their lousy catering and mediocre staff. But hey, each to their own!
 

desafinado74

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The whole pandemic has proven just how gullible the Australian population is. It’s certainly changed my view on the country. How many people generally die in nursing homes? How many people catch serious viruses everyday? 99.9% of people wouldn’t have a clue, but they run for the doona when somebody says COVID. It’s embarrassing, and I’ve grown to respect the Americans a lot more for not bending over and accepting a freedom-stealing pineapple.

Hrdlicka is 110% correct, of course. But the truth doesn’t sell newspapers (nor win votes).

Hrdlicka is American, so that proves your point 😁 I agree. i too have new found respect for Americans, the Brits and the Europeans. They definitely have the right attitude when it comes to fighting for their rights, and also in dealing with Covid now. Look at them now, they can travel to EU, UK, and vice versa, and life is pretty back to normal. The CDC said that vaccinated folks don't have to wear a mask anymore, the US and UK are using rapid home testing kits, their vaccine rollouts are nothing short of brilliant, and they using the traffic light system when it comes to travel. Plus the UK is now trialling vaccine passports. The UK govt is also making all the right statements re finally reuniting families from far flung countries. Australia has seriously dropped the ball during this phase of the pandemic.

Yeah , unfortunately, most Aussies are gullible sheep. They don't read or watch the global news , and so they are vulnerable to political spin, misinformation, fake news etc This Fortress Australia mentality also highlights that, deep down, many Aussies are parochial, insular, narrow minded and xenophobic. And yup, many people die from car accidents, and yet we don't ban cars right ?!
 

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