Airline In Focus: Virgin Australia

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Routes Asia 2023 attendee Virgin Australia is one of Australia’s largest airlines and one carrier to attempt a full transformation from a low cost carrier to a full service carrier. Wholly owned by the Virgin Group, Virgin Australia commenced operations in 2000 as Virgin Blue and was the country's first surviving true LCC. The carrier has since moved away from that market and rebranded in May-2011. Virgin Australia now operates a full service model, targeting higher-yielding corporate traffic, while seeking to maintain its core leisure market share and low cost base. In 2014, Virgin Australia completed 100% acquisition of domestic LCC Tigerair’s (formerly Tiger Airways and ceased in 2020) shares, thus mirroring Qantas’ dual brand strategy. The carrier also operated subsidiaries; Virgin Samoa (previously Polynesian Blue) and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines. In 2018, the Samoan government terminated the Virgin partnership to re-establish its own flag carrier. Velocity Frequent Flyer (Virgin Australia's frequent flyer programme) is fully owned by Virgin Australia. The loyalty programme was previously 65% owned by Virgin Australia and 35% owned by Affinity until Virgin Australia reacquired 100% ownership in Nov-2019.

On 21-Apr-2020, Virgin Australia Holdings entered voluntary administration and appointed Deloitte as administrators. The group stated it was seeking to emerge "in a stronger financial position on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis".

On 17-Nov-2020, Virgin Australia stated Deloitte Restructuring Services partners and joint Virgin Australia voluntary administrators Vaughan Strawbridge, John Greig, Richard Hughes and Sal Algeri announced the completion of the sale of the Virgin Australia Group, with the shares and the entire business of the airline being transferred to Bain Capital.

All data relates to w/c Nov. 03, 2022, unless stated and was provided by OAG Schedules Analyser and CAPA - Centre for Aviation.…

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