Branson accuses Qantas of seeking government help to crush Virgin Australia

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed July 5, 2017 14:53

Branson accuses Qantas of seeking government help to crush Virgin Australia

Virgin Group boss Richard Branson has commented publicly that Qantas had previously sought financial help from the federal government to boost capacity and push Virgin Australia out of the market.

“They [Qantas] poured hundreds of millions of dollars into overcapacity into routes we were flying on, and they literally almost drove themselves out of business,” said Branson. “The Government quite rightfully told them it’s up to them to compete on a fair, level playing field. And they went back and stopped dumping tonnes of capacity on routes and behaving more sensibly.”

In 2014, Qantas argued that it there wasn’t an even playing field since the carrier was impeded by foreign ownership restrictions while government-backed international airlines were bankrolling Virgin’s expansion. It asked the government for a debt guarantee, but the government instead eased controls on foreign investment in Qantas.

Branson comments that Virgin Australia had to lobby hard to ensure the government retained two airlines in Australia.

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed July 5, 2017 14:53