Australia´s Virgin Blue Holdings "is on track to launch an international carrier and is considering a fresh low cost model". (2/20/2007)
The development emerged as budget carrier Virgin Blue shared that its net profit for the half-year to December 31 rose 81 percent to 124.3 million Australian dollars (US$98 million) from A$68.7 million a year earlier. The airline upgraded its full-year earnings outlook to be up 60 percent on last year´s A$112 million, and declared an interim dividend of two cents per share.
According to The Age, Virgin Blue said growth would come from better penetration of the business traveller and government markets, sale of new products and services and a new fuel hedging position. It also announced plans to target the high yield customers dominated by Qantas and create an international carrier to fly the US route and possibly a new low cost carrier.
"While its main airline would increasingly target the high yield customers dominated by Qantas, the company hoped to create an international carrier to fly the US route and maybe even a new low cost carrier," stated another media report.
The airline is already negotiating with Boeing to buy seven long-haul 777-300ER aircraft at a cost of $US2.6 billion ($A3.3 billion).
Virgin Blue posts 81 percent increment in half-year net profits, considers fresh low cost model