Virgin Australia has issued a statement calling for an investigation into Qantas’s so-called “line in the sand” publicly stated goal of maintaining 65 per cent marketshare of Australian domestic airline travel.
Reads the statement, issued on Thursday afternoon: “Over the last three years, Virgin Australia has had a consistent strategy of bringing strong competition to all key market segments, including the corporate, government, regional, leisure and budget segments.
“We have made significant progress in this regard, despite our major competitor’s publically-stated strategy of maintaining a 65 per cent share of the Australian domestic aviation market at all costs. Virgin Australia believes that a level playing field should include a full and proper investigation of our major competitor’s 65 per cent ‘line in the sand’ policy.”
The statement falls short of calling Qantas anti-competitive, and does not say which entity Virgin thinks should investigate Qantas’s marketshare policy.
The call for a “level playing field” echos Qantas’s own comments about the need for the changes to the Qantas Sale Act, which it says disadvantages it against a majority foreign-owned Virgin Australia.
The dispute arose from Virgin raising over $300 million in an equity rights raising from major shareholders Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Etihad.
“The Qantas Sale Act is a matter between the government and Qantas,” the Virgin statement notes.