Virgin boss, Sir Richard Branson, took out a full page advert in The Sunday Telegraph yesterday urging the Federal Government not to provide funding to rival airline Qantas.
The letter, addressed to the Australian public, warns “business people worldwide should think twice about investing in Australia” due to Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey’s suggestion Aussie taxpayers should be forced to help prop the Qantas Group.
Saying how Qantas enjoyed a virtual monopoly until Virgin Australia upped the competition, Branson claims “Qantas has decided to act against us”.
“It announced it would go ‘go to any lengths’ to hold its 65% share of the domestic market and dumped capacity on key Virgin Australia routes, spending endless amounts of money to stop Virgin Australia offering more competition for more routes,” Branson said.
“Qantas has gone to its shareholders on numerous occasions over the last few years to wage its capacity war against us. Now that the shareholders have turned that tap off, the company is turning to the Australian taxpayer to try to bail it out.”
Branson goes on to say Virgin Australia doesn’t care what the government does with the Qantas Sale Act, saying what is more important is making sure the government does not provide financial assistance to Qantas.