Virgin Australia have today announced 3 big changes to the face of domestic aviation in Australia, which are set to firmly cement Virgin Australia as a heavy weight in the Australian industry.
Tiger Airways, which will see Virgin & Singapore Airlines run basically a joint venture operation, to target Jetstar head on. The stake believed to be worth $35 million will then see Virgin invest up to $62.5 million to improve the Tiger brand and see its fleet grow from the current 11 Airbus A320's to a fleet of 35 aircraft by 2018.
The Tiger brand won't be going away, however – it will remain "for at least another 20 years."Tiger Airways Australia said in a statement that the airline will remain low cost with an internet based distribution platform.
Read more by John Walton (@thatjohn) at austbt.com.au HERE
Virgin have also announced that they will purchase regional partner Skywest. This is likely to see Skywest operating for Virgin the same way QantasLink does for Qantas, Virgin branded but running its own airline.
Skywest already operate like this on the east coast of Australia, operating the Virgin Australia fleet of ATR aircraft.
Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti said today that the deal "will enable us to fast-track our advancement in the high growth fly-in-fly out and regional markets, increasing competition in these important segments.The deal relies on approval from Australian & Singaporean regulators as well as approval from Skywest shareholders.
Read more from John Walton at austbt.com.au HERE
Singapore Airlines will take a $105 million, 10% stake in Virgin Australia.
Virgin and SQ already operate a partnership with sharing of flights, frequent flyer schemes and reciprocal access to lounges, and Virgin Australia today bought a 60 percent controlling interest in Singapore Airlines' subsidiary Tiger Airways Australia.This investment puts Singapore on an even footing with Etihad who also own 10% of the airline, while Air New Zealand own 19.9% & Sir Richard Branson owns 26%
Read more from David Flynn (@djsflynn) at ausbt.com.au HERE