28 May 2007

Virgin Oz - Splits 4 ways

Following in the footsteps of its arch rival Qantas - Virgin Blue is now the uber-brand for the Ozzie carrier. As it has slowly and relentlessly moved upmarket with its primary brand going after the corporate market - Virgin has seen its low cost roots (and routes) usurped by the upstart part of the Qantas group - Jetstar. With Tiger airways a mere few months away from starting domestic Oz routes - Virgin is not sitting still.

The company will now have 4 main brands:

Virgin Blue will be the premium branded service for Domestic routes.
Pacific Blue will be APAC regional routes including TransTasman services already in operation. The two newcomers will be the Long Haul (initially Trans Pacific) 777 service and the even sooner to be launched LCC player.
Commenting to Travel Weekly Australia at the Australia Tourism Exchange on Monday May 29th, Brett Godfrey, Virgin Blue CEO said "As we already have an Aircraft Operators Certificate (AOC), we can be up and running almost immediately". This pits Virgin Blue firmly against its rival. With some variation!

We believe that now the ownership issue is long resolved the company has been planning this expansion strategy for some time.

With Qantas itself in somewhat disarray following the recent debacle of the APA aborted tender and the subsequent resignation of 2 board members, we can see that there is life in the old dogs yet. Now why didn’t Ansett do this???? Answers on a postcard or email to me asap....




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