Virgin Blue Airlines has termed the next 12 months to be a period of steady expansion as the three-airline group enters the New Zealand domestic market for the first time. (8/21/2007)
The company is also planning to expands its Australian domestic network, continues product development and launches a fourth airline, V Australia to undertake long-haul international operations. The airline group now comprises Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue.
Product development will include enhancements to the Velocity Loyalty programme, a new Canberra Lounge to open in August 2007, continued installation of live2air seatback television and expansion of Sydney Airport facilities.
Preparations for the launch of trans-Pacific operations will escalate and subject to completion of the remaining regulatory requirements, V Australia will inaugurate Boeing 777-300ER international flights to the USA in the second half of 2008.
"It is acknowledged that during this planned development phase as Virgin Blue invests for higher yielding returns and gears up to establish major new airline operations the company will accommodate a period of controlled increase to the cost base. Management view this transitional adaptation of business model as short term investment prior to entering higher yielding domestic and international markets. Virgin Blue continues to examine business models for an ultra low cost carrier," stated the company.
The company is confident of continued strong revenue and yield improvement supported by further penetration of the corporate travel market, entry to the New Zealand domestic market and progress in the Government travel sector.
The company has continued to implement its hedging policy and for FY08 has in place currency hedging covering 77 percent of requirements and fuel hedging covering 49 percent of fuel requirements.