Virgin Blue Group CEO John Borghetti is beating the drum ahead of next week's expected relaunch of the airline - with a possible rebranding as Virgin Australia – and says that Australia's business travellers are “crying out” for the competition he intends to deliver.
"Everywhere I go, business travellers tell me they want more competition" Borghetti tells Australian travel trade publication Travel Weekly. "They are crying out for it. They face competition in the environment they operate in and they know it compels them to strive to be better.”
Borghetti aims to snare as much as 20% of Australia's corporate market, which currently stands at around 10%, with Virgin Blue lessening its reliance on the leisure market.
But the airline will not "fixate on market share", instead focussing on the more sound business model of improved returns. As Borghetti has said in the past, "We have no desire to be Australia's biggest airline but we want to be the domestic airline of choice."
And in reference to Qantas’s regularly-quoted 65% "line in the sand" share of the domestic market, Borghetti tells Travel Weekly "we don’t have a line in the sand to defend and I don’t care about lines in the sand.”
Borghetti's assault on the business market has already included the forthcoming launch of daily flights between Sydney and Perth; new business class seats with an inflight menu designed by award-winning chef Luke Mangan; and a fast-track lounge at Sydney Airport with valet parking, an express security lane and a kerb-to-lounge time of under two minutes.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.