Traveller reports that Twitter was abuzz with calls to boycott Virgin Australia after comments made by CEO Jayne Hrdlicka at a business lunch in Brisbane on Monday 17 May.
Hrdlicka called for Australia’s borders to be reopened before the stated goal of mid-2022.
Her subsequent remark that “some people may die,” as a result attracted widespread criticism on twitter.
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA DEFENDS ITSELF: FLYER SAFETY A “NUMBER ONE PRIORITY”
The airline took to Twitter to defend itself:
“The safety of our guests has always been our number one priority – nothing will change that. We have worked in lock-step with State and Federal governments to put the health and safety of Australians first, and we’ll keep doing that as long as we learn to live with COVID-19.”
Ms Hrdlicka proposed that international borders should reopen as soon as an adequate number of Australians have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
“COVID will be part of the community, we will become sick with COVID and it won’t put us in hospital, and it won’t put people into dire straits because we’ll have a vaccine,” Ms Hrdlicka said.
She went on to make the comment that, “Some people may die, but it will be way smaller than with the flu.”
PRIME MINISTER WEIGHS IN ON HRDLICKA’S “INSENSITIVE” COMMENTS
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned Ms Hrdlicka’s comments and called them “insensitive”. He emphasised that any and all deaths of Australians as a result of Covid-19 are a tragedy.
“Nine-hundred-and-ten Australians have lost their lives,” Morrison said. “Every single one of those lives was a terrible tragedy, and it doesn’t matter how old they were. They were someone’s mum, someone’s dad, someone’s aunty, someone’s cousin, brother, sister, friend.”