Rocky in strong position to retain Virgin routes
ROCKHAMPTON is in a strong position to retain its existing Virgin flight routes, the man in charge of the city’s Airport Growth and Development portfolio says.
Deputy Mayor Cr Neil Fisher was responding to news this week that Virgin had officially entered voluntary administration in a bid to resuscitate the troubled airline.
On Tuesday, Virgin Australia informed the share market that Deloitte had been appointed administrators following a board meeting late on Monday.
Cr Fisher said Rockhampton Airport had experienced a “very good and close” working relationship with Virgin and its record would stand the city in good stead.
“We’ve shown over the last eight to ten months that we’ve had a steady increase in passenger numbers, up until COVID-19,” he said.
“So we had that seven per cent, five per cent, eight per cent, month by month growth, which puts us in a very good position when the administrators look at those airports there that are destinations that do support Virgin flights.
“The strong recovery of the resource industry will also play an important role for us.
“We’ll continue to work with the administrators, and really hope to see that after the airline has gone through this administration process, that we’re actually in a strong position to retain the flights that the Rockhampton region has had over the last 15 years.”
Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow said it would be a “terrible thing for us as a community” to be reduced to one airline.
“Nothing against Qantas of course, but we saw last time the impact on our fares and on our tourism industry when we were reduced to one airline,” Cr Strelow said.
“We’ve had some great service from Alliance as well, but somebody has got to provide that legitimate alternative for us in the community here to ensure not just compatibility and competitiveness, but also to make sure that we have the volumes of people when we need, for our big events coming into the region.”
On Tuesday Virgin founder Richard Branson said he was so proud of his Virgin Australia team and what they had achieved together.
“This is not the end of Virgin Australia, but I believe a new beginning,” Mr Branson said on Twitter.
“I promise that we will work day and night to turn this into reality.”