May 6, 2020 / 1:39 PM / 21 days ago

Emirates Group airport unit to review Australian operations

DUBAI, May 6 (Reuters) - An airport services subsidiary of Dubai’s Emirates Group said on Wednesday it would review its operations in Australia after being left out of a government scheme there to save jobs.

The dnata business includes ground handling and catering services and retail and hospitality.

Australia in March announced a A$130 billion ‘job keeper’ package to project jobs from the coronavirus crisis that has sent shockwaves through the economy.

However, companies owned by foreign governments have been excluded from the scheme that provides funds to businesses to pay workers. Emirates Group, which also counts the Emirates airline among its assets, is owned by Dubai’s state fund.

“As a result, we are … forced to review medium, and long-term viability of dnata’s various Australian businesses,” a spokesperson for dnata said in an email, confirming an earlier report in the Financial Times.

An Australian government spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.

Dnata warned its exclusion from the scheme had put 4,500 jobs at risk and given an unfair advantage to its competitors that it said had not been barred from accessing the program.

“The application of the scheme was critical to the company’s Australian employees, as it mean that we could reinstate previously stood down workers, and keep the rest of the workforce employed,” the spokesman said. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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