Marlborough’s stricken regional airline is being backed by the community in a bid to help save it from receivership.
Sounds Air bosses are not eligible to any of the Government’s $600 million rescue package set aside for the aviation sector amid Covid-19 lockdown.
Now MP Stuart Smith has started an online petition calling for immediate financial help.
He says the company has a big role to play in helping the region recover after lockdown as well as playing a vital role in providing essential transport links.
“I was deeply concerned to hear that Sounds Air risks going into receivership because they have not received any financial support from the Government’s aviation sector support package.
“When restrictions are eased, we will need Sounds Air to ensure people living in regional New Zealand can get to where they need to go.
“I’m calling on the Government to immediately provide the financial support that this highly reputable business needs so we can save jobs and maintain our essential transport links,” Stuart says.
Money from the government’s $600m aviation support package has been spent on keeping freight and lifeline links running.
Sounds Air connects Wellington to Picton, Nelson and Blenheim, and flies other routes Air New Zealand pulled out of over the years but is not considered an essential service.
Managing director of Sounds Air Andrew Crawford says he is making every effort to keep his airline afloat but is being met with brick walls.
Eighty employees face losing their jobs if the company has to close.
Stuart says the business cannot be let go without a fight.
“Some businesses are just too important to let fail. Sounds Air will be an important player in the economic recovery of regional New Zealand and our aviation sector.”
The petition has already been signed by almost 2500 people.”
To sign the petition visit https://www.change.org/p/ministry-of-transport-save-sounds-air-make-the-government-provide-financial-support-to-an-essential-nz-airline?recruiter=1078209202&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition