Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic Airways, today announced that Virgin Atlantic would increase the number of its planned services to Australia if British Airways fulfils its threat to pull off the route. The Australian media have carried reports that BA would stop flying to Australia if the ACCC (the Australian competition authorities) rejects BA and Qantas’s application to extend their current “Restated Joint Services Agreement” (RJSA).
Commenting on the issue, Richard Branson said:
“Thanks to their anti-competitive agreement BA and Qantas between them dominate the markets between London and Australia - the two airlines should be competing with each other not colluding! Threats by BA to stop flying to Australia unless they can continue in a monopoly with Qantas should be treated with the contempt they deserve by the Australian competition authorities.
“I personally pledge today to the Australian and British people that if BA withdraws from the London - Australia market that Virgin Atlantic will replace it. And more!”