Qantas has launched an aggressive online petition as it ratchets up its campaign to get the federal government to block Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines taking increased stakes in Virgin Australia via the latter’s $350 million rights issue.
The website fairgo4qantas.nationbuilder.com went live on Tuesday morning and uses unprecedentedly strong language in arguing Qantas’s case in what is becoming an increasingly strident and public argument over foreign ownership of Australian airlines.
“Virgin has raised over $300 million in capital from Etihad, Singapore and Air New Zealand. This will result in Virgin being over 80 per cent foreign owned. We can’t let them wreck this industry by running up huge losses to try and put Qantas out of business,” the petition reads.
“We must not let three foreign government backed airlines take control of Virgin and ruin the Australian aviation industry for which we have fought so hard. Make your voice heard and sign the petition below to the federal government.”
But early responses to the campaign on social media platform Twitter have not been universally positive in response to the call to arms.
“@QantasAirways: After just telling another 300 at Avalon they are to be sacked is this a joke #fairgo4qantas get real,” writes Twitter user David Edmunds.