Virgin Australia is considering new ways to retain and grow business across the Tasman after its long-term relationship with Air New Zealand comes to an end in October this year.

While Virgin Australia’s Chief Executive, John Borghetti, believes the carrier’s product is strong enough to keep trans-Tasman customers, he revealed that there might be an opportunity to offer flyers low-cost fares by utilising Tigerair across the ditch.

He told attendees at the CAPA Australia Pacific Summit in Sydney that the relationship with Air New Zealand “to some degree held back” the product the carrier could place across the Tasman, and that restraint won’t exist post-alliance.

“To some degree, our product was held back on the Tasman because of our alliance. We won’t have that issue anymore and it also opens up the door for us, should we want to, to use Tigerair.”

John Borghetti, Virgin Australia Chief Executive

Jetstar doesn’t need to worry about low-cost competition across the Tasman just yet because Borghetti stressed that Tigerair’s priorities for the moment are domestic services and fleet transition.

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In the meantime, Virgin Australia will complement its recently increased trans-Tasman operations by codesharing on Singapore Airlines’ Melbourne-Wellington services. The carrier will also bolster its trans-Tasman product on 28 October by introducing new food and drink options, wi-fi (including 15 minutes complimentary), 23kg baggage and an increase in Frequent Flyer Points and Status Credits earn potential.

“Our product stands up and we’ll be fine.”

John Borghetti, Virgin Australia Chief Executive

 

Would you be keen to see Tigerair flying across the ditch?