Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti has pledged that Virgin won't drop out of routes in favour of new low-cost sibling Tiger Airways Australia.
However, he said that some of the more popular routes shared between both airlines could see fewer daily Virgin services, while flights by Tiger could increase to fill the gap.
Speaking to investors at a Macquarie conference in Sydney yesterday, as reported by The Australian, Borghetti promised "we won't do wholesale substitution" of Virgin for Tiger, hinting at previous instances where rival Qantas had handed over certain domestic routes to Jetstar.
"We won't pull Virgin out of any port and impose a product type on the customer base, irrespective of what they want."
"What you might see is on particular destinations you will tweak it", Borghetti allowed.
"If there are five flights a day to a particular destination on Virgin and Tiger operates one a day, we might drop to four and say, 'you increase yours to two because the market is out of balance now', but you are not going to see wholesale withdrawal."
"We have got a good network coverage as Virgin now, so we don't want to shrink that. We just want to overlay on some routes the requirement for a low-cost carrier."
Borghetti reiterated his previous stance that Tiger would remain a completely separate airline from Virgin when seen from the traveller's perspective, with no codesharing with Virgin or partners such as Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Etihad.
Announcing his plan in October last year to purchase 60 percent of Tiger, in a deal priced at $35 million, Borghetti said that "In effect, Tiger will be run as a separate business with a separate board... it will not be polluted in any form of distraction and will remain true to the from the low-cost carrier concept."
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