The ACCC has given interim approval to an expanded alliance between Virgin Australia and Skywest aimed at tapping demand from the resources and mining industries.
The alliance, offering bundled passenger services to businesses wanting a combination of charter, domestic and international flights, represents an effort by Virgin to step up its competition with Qantas in the booming resource sector in Western Australia.
The agreement “will mean a range of benefits including more competitive pricing, enhanced flight connections and a higher quality overall travel experience,” Virgin Australia Group Executive of Commercial Liz Savage said in a statement, adding that Virgin will extend its frequent flyer program to Skywest charters.
“This alliance is an important part of Virgin Australia’s strategy to increase competition in the Australian corporate travel market,” she said.
Perth based Skywest also operates a fleet of ATR turboprops on behalf of Virgin over a growing network of regional routes in New South Wales and Queensland.