Monday, 25 February 2008: Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia could be interested in a partnership with Virgin Blue to see the launch of an ‘ultra low cost’ carrier in Australia.
Virgin Blue had at the beginning of last year announced possible plans to begin operating an ‘ultra low cost’ carrier (ULCC) in Australia. But expansions into the New Zealand domestic market put the initiative on the back burner.
This year at its half yearly financial report, Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey commented that plans for an ULCC hadn’t been scrapped and that the airline was still considering possibilities – including partnering with another airline to launch it.
Now it appears that AirAsia could be interested in helping Virgin Blue launch the project, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald today.
“We are definitely keen but a lot of that hinges on what happens with Toll and who is going to take control of Virgin Blue,” a representative of AirAsiaX in Australia commented to the Sydney paper.
At the same time, it firmly ruled out purchasing a stake itself.
Currently AirAsia X flies the Kuala Lumpur–Gold Coast route, but it does not have permissions from the government to launch itself domestically.