Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah resigns after Bain shake-up

Former Jetstar CEO Jayne Hrdlicka to take over in early November, but Bain says the airline won't become a low-cost carrier.

By David Flynn, October 15 2020
Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah resigns after Bain shake-up

Virgin Australia will lose stalwart CEO Paul Scurrah, with the popular exec ousted by new airline owner Bain Capital after just 20 months in the job.

Scurrah's exit was confirmed this morning, after weeks of simmering tension surrounding different visions for the airline boiled over.

He will be replaced by Jayne Hrdlicka, a former senior partner with Bain and Jetstar CEO from July 2012 to October 2017, who was part of Bain's successful bid team to take control of Virgin Australia

Scurrah will remain as CEO until Bain assumes full control of Virgin Australia in early November

“Having seen the company through COVID-19, voluntary administration, the sale to Bain Capital and the redesign of the business, I will be stepping down as CEO and Managing Director," Scurrah said.

"I have made this decision after some long discussions with my family. The time feels right, and I know the business will be in good hands."

Bain Capital Managing Director Mike Murphy, saluted Scurrah for providing "the leadership to enable Virgin Australia to emerge from voluntary administration as a well-capitalised, best in classs carrier."

On Hrdlicka's ascension to CEO, Murphy said "the challenges facing all airlines are extraordinary, and Virgin Australia requires a different form of leadership to survive in the long term. Given the environment, we need a hands on CEO with deep aviation, commercial, operational and transformation experience."

"Jayne is the right person to take the business forward under Bain Capital’s ownership. She has extensive airline experience and I know she, alongside Bain Capital, wants nothing more than to see Virgin Australia prosper and thrive well into the future."

Former Bain senior partner and Jetstar CEO Jayne Hrdlicka will take over as Virgin Australia CEO in November.
Former Bain senior partner and Jetstar CEO Jayne Hrdlicka will take over as Virgin Australia CEO in November.

Although previously tipped to take on a boardroom role, Hrdlick's recent relocation from Melbourne to Virgin's home base of Brisbane fuelled speculation of a far more hands-on role.

Vaughan Strawbridge, from airline administrator Deloitte, said he had  "reaffirmed with Bain Capital that Virgin Australia will not be repositioned as a low-cost carrier."

"Virgin Australia will be a 'hybrid' airline, offering great value to customers by delivering a distinctive Virgin experience at competitive prices. This will appeal to the full spectrum of travellers, from premium corporate through to more budget-focused consumers."

Also read: Five things to watch for in Bain Capital's new Virgin Australia

A difference in directions?

Scurrah has continued to champion Virgin's role as full-service albeit 'value' airline in the middle of the market, with a premium business class and airport lounge offering to appeal to business travellers and frequent flyers who would otherwise favour Qantas.

While Bain seemingly embraced this template in its $3.5 billion takeover of Virgin, which collapsed into administration on April 21, the US-based private equity colossus was said to be repositioning the airline with more of a budget skew, while retaining the business class cabin and reportedly some – but not all - lounges.

Executive Traveller understands that one of many recent 'red flags' to Scurrah was Bain's proposal for the new business class catering plan, which was said to reduce food and drinks service to the bare minimum.

When Bain threw its hat into the bidder's ring in May 2020, Murphy said the company's aim was "to bring back the best parts of the Virgin Blue culture and make flying fun again."

The reference to Virgin Blue – Virgin Australia's decidedly low-cost predecessor – immediately spooked many travellers and industry observers, as did Murphy's subsequent media comments on the importance of airport lounges.

"Things like a fancy club and fancy meals and all of that are relevant to a very small portion of customers," he told media in late June. "But for the vast majority of customers, they just don't value that as much. We will work with Paul [Scurrah] and his team to put a finer point on this."

However, Bain continued to endorse the new-look Virgin Australia as a debt-free finesse of VA1. "I think largely the positioning from a customer perspective will be very similar to where it is, but maybe a little more value focused."

Scurrah's flight path

An experienced tourism and transport and logistics executive, Scurrah's pre-Virgin CV included years at both Qantas and Ansett Australia, helping establish Regional Express and holding down leadership roles at Flight Centre, Tourism Queensland and Queensland Rail.

He took over from longstanding Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti on March 25 2019 and, mindful of Virgin's track record of high debt and ongoing losses, set about in his words "turning a great airline into a great business."

Handing over in happier times: John Borghetti and Paul Scurrah.
Handing over in happier times: John Borghetti and Paul Scurrah.

However, barely 13 months later, on April 21 2020, Scurrah was forced to take Virgin into administration as Covid-19 and related travel restrictions robbed the airline of passengers and revenue.

Alongside administrator Deloitte, Scurrah helped guide the collapsed airline through a parade of suitors and eventually into the embrace of US-based Bain Capital, which locked away ownership of Virgin with a $3.5 billion deal largely made up of assuming outstanding debt.

To some extent, Scurrah's turnaround plan for Virgin Australia was accelerated by the "shrink to survive' necessity of Covid-19: he closed the airline's New Zealand base, axed budget arm Tigerair Australia, and moved towards a streamlined fleet primarily consisting of the Boeing 737 workhorse.

With international travel of the agenda until at least 2021, Scurrah also ditched the larger Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 jets, proposing that once overseas routes resumed, they would be flown by newer and more efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 252

Safe to say that the long held belief that "VA should join the Star Alliance" should be considered dead and buried for the foreseable future. 
There's a small chance of being a "connect" partner, but I can't see that happening either.

Depending on how REX goes with their jet services, they're probably a better chance of joining Star Alliance or SkyTeam than the 'new' Virgin Blue.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

Did Deloitte or Scurrah chose the wrong suitor? We may never know. 

Much of the consideration of offers is to save jobs as employees as a single group  form one of the biggest creditors. I am not so sure that Bain’s vision for a virgin airline will save that much jobs nor livelihoods (in terms of maintaining income) for those who retained their position. No doubt the employee contracts will be renegotiated and with Scurrah out of the picture, whatever hopes of continuing the culture and working conditions will be diminished.

But hey, i am only an armchair commentator so you can go with those comments from VA advocates 

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

I see that the article is now updated to confirm Scurrah's resignation. 

Wish him all the best, he had maintained good reputation despite the VA administration

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 310

Many said Bain could not be trusted and this backflip reiterates they were saying what the staff and press wanted to hear to get their bid across the line.

I thought Scurrah's plans seemed solid. He had a clear path and plan for Virgin, which was endorsed by Bain.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 527

Bain & Co (Australia) CEO is Michael Murphy. an Australian ex-Olympian diver. Interesting to see that continued practice of reverse / backflips are still part of the retinue.

Qantas is jumping for joy! It was a total hatchet job. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Mar 2014

Total posts 221

QF loving life there airfares will sky rocket

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2017

Total posts 53

thr rise of Vstar

the recession is going to start to bite hard very soon. Qantas will suffer unless it has Jetstar type fares.

Noticed Jetstar frequencies have increased on SYD/MEL to coincide with Rex launch 1 March, so maybe Jetstar is going to run at a loss on SYD/MEL(& possibly give away ff pts on all fares) to try & stuff up Rex.

Pity the ACCC didn't have some teeth.

30 Aug 2019

Total posts 12

This is disappointing.

I've long been a big advocate of VA, especially as it is seen as the underdog here in Australia. Pre-administration, it had a superior business class product and friendlier cabin crew (in my opinion). Sure, it needed some work (partner airlines, fleet consistency, loyalty program, etc). but for the most part, it was a solid competitor and kept Qantas honest.

Paul Scurrah had a solid plan for the airline and I genuinely believe he was going to steer the airline in the right direction. I'll be disappointed to see him go. 

Taking VA back down to a LCC with Hrdlicka at the helm is not the right step at all. Seems like it didn't take Bain very long to backtrack on the promises they made during the sales process. 

I was previously indifferent towards REX and their expansion plans - I think its wrong an airline can expand using government funds during a global pandemic when many airlines are shrinking to stay alive - however I am now genuinely backing them.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 339

Wonder if we will look back in 12-24 months time to see that Bain pulled off the biggest con job to take over Virgin. Or maybe we are getting worked up over nothing, and Bain still has the same vision, just without Scurrah

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 122

If VA now have a lower cost base than Jetstar then the real loser could be Jetstar. Especially if VA can maintain its position in the market as better than Jetstar. Hope VA do not go completely low cost and give Qantas a monopoly on business travel. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 527

Some twelve (12) months down the track, the real truth will emerge on how Australians were sold a crock by an apparently naïve administrator and a multi-faced bidder with a $1.34 in it's pocket and multiple versions about it's "saviour" role for a significant Australian corporate asset.

In the intervening period, we will possibly see the diminution of a basically honest, good bloke's career and the revival of a reviled plotter's ascension. A cut-price LCC has been closed, entirely capable A330's have been removed and cost-effective B777-300ER's will be waived away. The ugly carcass will then entirely resemble a previous incantation of it's former failed self. 

All that has really been achieved is the nullification of the SQ/Etihad/Hainan/Nanshan equity and the evaporation of multiple competing ideas of management. Virgin (whatever) will now effectively revert back to where it was 15-16 years ago. Oh, and the trust of the Australian travelling public has been ... challenged.

Already, the signs of 'cheap and nasty' are emerging. To the $0.60 pot noodles in J Class, can we expect a glass of A2 milk to replace the red or white? We've been down this failed path before ... and no real visionary plan seems to be emerging from the new owners. Rinse and repeat doesn't work.

Resumption of overseas flying and new widebody aircraft? Nup ~ not in any near future iteration - unless it is back to Kiwiland on an existing B737-800.

QF will be more than happy with their new circumstances .. and no doubt, the REX star is now being given a significant boost. The moves that Virgin's new owner make in the next day or two is very likely to determine how many  potential loyal passengers they retain in the relaunch of this (somewhat) unexpected turn. My feeling is that it won't be many.

i disagree. This recession will bite hard when jobkeeper/jobseeker ends in March when Rex starts jet services SYD/MEL.

Many will be tightening their belts & if they don't find cheaper fares, many won't fly at all.

(maybe some here aren't effected by recession, but hardly representative of general population)

Plenty of LCCs make money.

Think the fallout from all this corona hype, will be the failure of many legacy airlines, or their failure to adapt, ie. lower their costs, so they can offer lower fares.

Look at airlines like Thai int.

Thai looks like it might survive but will probably be nothing like it's previous form, ie. much smaller airline with focus on lower LCC type operation, if not a true LCC. (less staff, less pay, less frills, less included baggage - I know myself I tend to pack up to the limit, when in reality I could travel with 1/2 the stuff I do, meaning airline could sell more freight.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 527

Not sure I understand some of your logic, regular flyer.

Clearly, LCC's require lower costs to attract and sustain their market - and by nature of lower fares, operate on a far lower profit margin than legacies. You only have to look at the number of LCC's that are declaring bankruptcy at a rapid rate. Carriers such as Interjet (Mexico), Norwegian, Brussels, Nok-air, Air Asia X and Air Asia (Japan), Comair are all in this category. Whilst not yet in the Bankruptcy court or reorganisation process, Virgin Atlantic, Easyjet and Ryanair are very, very close as well.

It is fairly established that the tighter margins of LCC's make them more vulnerable. That's not to say that everything is rosy in legacy-land but the scale and bulk of legacy carriers generally suggest better and more comprehensive support from the banking / finance industry - and or Government.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 355

Strawbridge a "naïve administrator"?  Collected circa $30million for a few months work . . . no, I don't think 'naïve' gives full credit to the cunning hand played.  I can quite comfortably, and happily live with a 'house brand' F&B service in economy for short-haul flights of less than 90 minutes provided the fares reflect that, but when travelling business class on any sector I expect nothing less than the same service pre-administration.  

When I pay 'rack rate' for the premium service, I expect to get just that.  If that doesn't come back soon (i.e. before the end of this year), I'll shift back to Qantas (or go Rex on domestic and Singapore on international).  

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

09 Aug 2016

Total posts 21

Well it's awful for the staff, none of what Bain is doing should come as a surprise. Even a tiny bit of research on their MO when they acquire failing companies would have told the writing on the wall.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

06 Apr 2012

Total posts 103

I wonder if Qantas will now make a move to entice Virgin's premium customers to jump ship ?  I would imagine Platinum customers in particular would be ripe for the picking at this point in time.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 118

wdeguara - As a platinum customer myself I think you may be right there. At the moment this is a lot of speculation, but if confirmed by Bain/VA MkII that they are downgrading, I'd be receptive to an offer from Qantas.

05 Apr 2012

Total posts 25

And so would I! 

Was really looking forward to new Virgin with bus class, lounges & international connections.......but I doubt Jayne H will be interested in that sort of airline.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 355

Choose me!  Chose me !! Choose me !!! 

25 Jan 2012

Total posts 28

I don't think they will - i mean why do they need to. If customers aren't happy with Virgin's new proposition, it's not like they have a variety of choice in airlines to switch too.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 527

@craigj77 - the real tragedy for the staff is that they pledged their supported to Bain & Co. in the Administration voting process, only to be screwed by Bain's subsequent reversal of it's stated 'vision'.

BTW, the departure of Paul Scurrah is now official. The ultimate irony (and possibly a brilliant move) would be for REX to extend an invitation to him. Nor would I be surprised to see him move towards QF after a suitable period. 

An article in the SMH this morning also reveals that a significant number of other management staff have or are in the process of leaving .. and that this information has been conveniently withheld so far. 

kimshep

your statement ...

 "a significant number of other management staff have or are in the process of leaving .."

doubt if anyone leaving, am sure they have all been let go. No one surely would leave an aviation job now, unless got a job in different sector.

Virgin always were a bit top heavy with management.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 527

@regular flyer 

- it is not "my" quote. Please examine the full gist of the sentence, rather than misquoting a subset of the text .. It is clearly attributable to the SMH, as stated.

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 319

Alan Joyce booted Jayne Hrdlicka out of QF when Jetstar was voted worst airline in the world. If you enjoy flying Virgin as they are at the moment then get ready to emergency evacuate down the escape slide! VA will be worse than Tiger ever was. What a disaster.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 450

If you set aside the rumours about the CEO, could the observed cost cutting turn out to be not more than a response to the extended reduction in flying?  Taking on Jetstar at the low end of the market does not look like a good plan.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 450

Ok, not rumours

gregxl

it is a good plan if you're flying higher frequency than jetstar on BNE-SYD-MEL but at Jetstar type fares. Qantas might lose out.

On BNE-SYD-MEL the front end doesn't make all the dollars, it's the business types who pay $800-$1000 return at last minute, to sit in economy.

Throw Rex into equation, flying ex VA aircraft with ex VA crews & it will get interesting. Qantas will be throwing around billions of ff pts & qantas club memberships, so watch the clubs get crowded very crowded & other freebees(hotels, car rental, booze ala Southwest). Qantas don't want to be dropping fares on triangle.

19 Jun 2020

Total posts 17

No surprises here, Never believe Private Equity, its all about the money and the creditors and Administrators will look a bit silly when this plays out. I was happy with Scurrahs vision and happy to show patience. If they take it down the budget route then they will lose a lot of mid tier organisations. I for one will take my business back to Qantas (and not Jetstar) - only $500K per year but multiply this many times over an it will hurt. 

We are all human and if we are going to lose our perks we will simply take our business elsewhere, I had my first Virgin  flight this week for many months and at least half the plane was made up of business people, lets see them make money on a half full plane and if they think Jetstar will let them have the value market they are kidding.

I wonder if Bain checked A2 Board and senior execs about their new CEO ?

31 Jan 2013

Total posts 39

Bain was IMO never the best option for VA. You simply cannot trust US equity firms to keep their promises. VA will end up as a purely 737 trunk route LCC, with a lacklustre Premium Economy replacing Business. Regional routes will be limited to only major centres such as Cairns and Newcastle, and international limited to a few Pacific Islands. Longhaul international will disappear (a good thing) and Jetstar will become their major competitor.

A great shame as VA was a really good domestic carrier which, like Ansett, should never have tried to take on QF internationally. Their fleet was too varied. All they needed was a few 70 seat props, a few 100 seat jets and a lot of 737s (preferably not MAX's). They had been in the process of sorting a flatbed business product for some 737s, similar to what PAL has in its A320s.

What we'll find next year is two LCCs in VA and Rex trying to take on JQ, which will leave QF making megabucks from the corporate sector and using that cash to reduce JQ fares and drive one or both of the opposition out the door.

agentgerko

rex isn't going to be a LCC & they are starting with only 1 jet route SYD/MEL, where qantas makes it's biggest profits.

It's going to be interesting with jetstar increasing frequencies on triangle. (ex Jetstar boss now at virgin, knows all the jetstar & qantas tricks)

Good news for consumers, bad news for those trying to use ff pts, as many of those ff seats will be sold as cheap fares(no changes, no refunds, no checked luggage). Wouldn't be surprised if a few business types use them.

In reality a very few people on flexible tickets, ever change their flights, but they are so important, they need flexibility.

If business types flew on cheapest fares, the saving they would make, would more than pay for the odd time they wanted to fly at a different time.

What's the cheapest SYD/MEL ? $100 ? & the most expensive economy fare ? $500 ?

Many will plan their business trips earlier to save big bucks.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

There are quite a few who seemed to think the Scurrah's vision of a new Virgin post takeover by Bain was supported/approved by Bain but I did not recall any declaration from Bain themselves going in that direction unless I missed a few key announcement directly from Bain (not from VA or other sources). And whatever promises made in the Sept meeting may not be directly from Bain's mouth either. The employees as key bondholders are naturally attracted by the promise of full payment of work entitlement owing. 

The only thing I recalled directly from Bain was about going back to Virgin-Blue roots etc.

Like I said we may never know if Deloitte and Scurrah's support of Bain is the better choice. Cyrus may not have played by the rules by trying to improve their best offer before the dateline, but the over-riding aim of administration is to get the best deal for the assets and creditors. Deloitte could have said to Cyrus that if you want us to consider your second 'final' offer then Bain should have the final 'final' offer in response. 

But then that's spilled milk now

30 Aug 2019

Total posts 12

Bain did publicly back Scurrah’s plan:

‘The US buyout giant will also back Virgin's existing chief executive Paul Scurrah and his management team, Mr Murphy said in an interview on Thursday, and adopt their "Virgin 2.0" plan to relaunch the airline after it went into voluntary administration in April owing $6.8 billion.

‘Mr Murphy on Thursday joined Cyrus in backing Virgin chief executive Paul Scurrah's "Virgin 2.0" plan, which includes stripping its domestic fleet back from multiple aircraft types to just its Boeing 737s and focus them on flying profitable routes.'

Source: SMH Article ‘Virgin bidder Bain says it won't cut any deeper than rival Cyrus’

By Patrick Hatch

June 18, 2020 — 6.33pm

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

@ja90ck

Yes I see what you have there.

But this news was pre-final offer during the wooing period before Cyrus backs out of the bid within 7 days of this article.

I should have clarified when i wrote 

 There are quite a few who seemed to think the Scurrah's vision of a new Virgin post takeover by Bain was supported/approved by Bain but I did not recall any declaration from Bain themselves going in that direction unless I missed a few key announcement directly from Bain (not from VA or other sources)”

that I meant that Scurrah’s vision of a new Virgin (as articulated and featured by various media including ET in Aug) since takeover by Bain was not publicly echoed by Bain, for that I apologise for inadvertently misleading.

And frankly whatever the available proof out there contrary (to my observation), the exit of Scurrah at this stage is the final proof that the new Virgin under Bain does not include him or some/most of his team

02 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

All.i can say is this...it reminds me of the movie pretty woman....but its being to be pretty any more with this stupid idea of being taking over and and getting rid of scurrah....I feel sorry for the staff..they are the ones who are holding the airline together...not bain..I can use abusive words..but I won't.. for now...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 123

I have never understood why businesses pay for something (like brand, staff, airplanes etc) and change everything about that business. I see this around quite a bit. If you were going to pay big money, why not start from scratch? 

Buying Virgin and then making it to operate like Jetstar defies logic. I understand, if they wanted to cut access to lounge for gold members and the number of entrants who come with platinum and keep the lounge expense to a minimum, but why cull the whole thing??

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 509

A good case study would be when Myers were taken over by a Private Equity Group and walked away not even paying the taxman.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Aug 2017

Total posts 51

I'm very sorry to see Paul Scurrah (and probably the Virgin Australia I know and love) go. 

However, I can't help but feel just a little sorry for Jayne Hrdlicka. She's about to be subject to so much vilification based on her record (whether or not it's deserved, I really have no idea) that it's hard to see how she's going to get the staff on board under any circumstances. I'm not sure which of the phrases "poisoned chalice" or "hospital pass" is more appropriate at this point!

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

11 Sep 2015

Total posts 37

A hospital pass can be dropped. She like everybody has choices so I don't feel very sympathetic. Just tee'd off at the Bid End of Town. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 191

From the source:

Hi everyone,

It is with a heavy heart I let you know that I’ve decided to step down as CEO and Managing Director from the Virgin Australia Group. I know this news may come as a surprise to some of you, however with the sale to Bain Capital almost complete and after some long discussions with my family, the time feels right.

When I accepted the CEO role 18 months ago, I directed all my energies to make Virgin Australia a stronger and more resilient airline. Because of our hard work, and with the backing of Bain Capital, the recovery plan is in place, the rebuilding is underway, and the airline has a bright future.

I know there has been speculation about the shape of the airline into the future, and I have reaffirmed with Bain Capital that Virgin Australia will not be repositioned as a low-cost carrier. Virgin Australia will be a “hybrid” airline, offering great value to customers by delivering a distinctive Virgin experience at competitive prices. This will appeal to the full spectrum of travellers, from premium corporate through to more budget-focused customers.

It is the intention that Jayne Hrdlicka will be appointed by Bain Capital as CEO once the transaction is complete, in early November. Jayne has strong aviation credentials. She is very focused on seeing the business succeed and I wish Virgin Australia well under her guidance.

It has been an honour and a privilege to be your leader. Together, we have navigated the worst aviation crisis in history. What has made me most proud is how you have handled the adversity which has been thrown at us. You have embraced the challenges, risen to every occasion, fought tirelessly to save this airline, reinvigorated our culture, and represented this company remarkably.

I am humbled by the support you have given me. The warmth you granted me from my first day here, and the acts of kindness you’ve shown me and my family during this pandemic is like nothing I have ever experienced, and I will be forever grateful.

To my ELT, thank you probably doesn’t cut it. What has been asked of you this year is far beyond the expectations of your role and I know you have all sacrificed a lot for this company. Each of you are experts in your field, brilliant leaders, and wonderful individuals. Thank you for embracing and delivering the change that has been required in this business. I am truly grateful for your support and friendship.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Vaughan Strawbridge, John Greig, Sal Algeri, and Richard Hughes for their unwavering commitment to saving this airline. The Deloitte team has become an extension of the Virgin Australia team over the course of the past eight months and I have valued their support, guidance, and counsel during this time.

I would also like to thank Bain Capital for believing in this great organisation and stepping in to support Virgin Australia’s transformation at such an unprecedented time in the industry. The industry has worsened significantly since Bain Capital made their bid, and their commitment has never been in question. They are here to ensure we come out of this stronger, bigger and every bit the great airline we have become over the years.

But I leave my last thanks to you, our wonderful people. I have learnt so much from you. I enjoyed every flight I took, and every conversation I had in the flight deck, back galley, in the lounge, boarding gate and in our office corridors. I came into this job as a loyal customer who used to sleep on every flight and leave with nothing but respect and admiration for every single one of you.

While this airline isn’t out of the woods yet, I have no doubt you will continue to band together like you always do, taking the fight to our competition and emerging from this crisis stronger and more unified than ever. I know this year has been one of the hardest you’ve endured, but once the dust settles, I have full faith Virgin Australia will be a force to be reckoned with.

Please keep taking care of yourselves, and each other.

Paul

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 55

Bain should have stuck with Paul Scurrah. I hope they don't put another former Qantas/Jetstar person in the role. Who knows if they have some personal axe to grind like John Borghetti did for being passed over at Qantas and making Alan Joyce the CEO of Qantas instead. 

I'm not saying Qantas made the right choice. But John Borgehetti's plan to go head to head with Qantas saw the demise of Virgin Australia, a very profitable airline in it's own right until this war was waged and implemented.

I really think Bain should reconsider having Paul Scurrah as CEO of Virgin Australia.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

You may have missed this bit in the article at the time of posting

 He will be replaced by Jayne Hrdlicka, a former senior partner with Bain and Jetstar CEO from July 2012 to October 2017, who was part of Bain's successful bid team to take control of Virgin Australia”

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 527

Regrettably ozpeke777 - it is a far stretch to refer to Virgin Australia as "a very profitable airline in it's own right ..."

You might want to think back over the numerous equity calls that Virgin made to it's partners such as Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Air New Zealand in particular, while reviewing VA's annual results.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

Interestingly there is no word or comments so far about the suspension of virgin/Bain negotiations with transport workers union yesterday PM which accumulated to a demand of Bain’s intentions of the airlines and Scurrah’s future within Virgin as well

Whatever promises about LCC or budget airlines depends one’s definition of course; even IATA’s own definition wasn’t hard and fast, so one person’s budget airline could be another persons mid tier in another continent 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 769

Union is irrelevant. It isn't 1979. When you want to completely kick them out you do it slowly, not immediately. Bain should be working towards a union-free company if they want to move forward - and now they're getting the right people to do it. If the unions wanted to stay involved they should have commanded one of the industry super funds to buy out VA.

the lockdowns have gone on way longer than most expected. We were talking about flights to NZ for 1 July. Victoria has also stuffed this up, domestically.

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 55

WXu I was hoping Bain might do a back flip on their decision.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

With all the media reporting so far, it can be difficult to tell what Bain actually said or didn’t say. Whatever Scurrah said since June, and without Bain contradicting him, was taken as done with the approval of Bain.

Now that Scurrah is gone, Bain can say it’s Scurrah describing his vision all along not the Board of Bain. 

All these speculation that Hrdlicka staying in boardroom rather than taking over as CEO, was never confirmed by Bain.

In retrospect, Bain never promised a lot actually, and even if Hrdlicka decided not to take the job (one of her reasons leaving A2 was “too much travelling”, of course it’s far more than that), I doubt they will ask Scurrah back since they probably never buy into the kind of plan Scurrah had

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 55

Bain being an American company probably wanted a American born /Australian as their CEO so that probably why Paul Scurrah got the chop.

RIP VA. It's been a great run. Loyal VA customers will not tolerate this. Nothing Australia dislikes more is when an arrogant US based company comes in and carries on this way. VA customers will not stay loyal to a Jetstar model, look how well tiger performed. Big mistake. Such a closely watched business transaction full of deceptive behaviour. Not one person I have spoke said they will stick with VA. Platinum member for 5 years. Bring on Rex! 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 355

Happy to echo that sentiment Ben, 'see you' in a Qantas lounge some time.  I have a Compass Airlines boarding pass, now laminated and used as a bookmark.  Looks like I'd need to do the same with a Virgin boarding pass (or the Platinum card).

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Mar 2015

Total posts 168

The thing that really angers me is that Bain must know of the fear and apprehension being caused to staff and the lack of information to passengers as to what standard of service we may expect. Staff moral is at an incredibly low point  from what I read and have been told personally.

Why don' t they simply have the decency to allay these concerns and tell their staff and the travelling public just what they intend to do.

They have had many months to work this out so surely they must know by now. If they don't know then VA is in for worse times than we can imagine as there soon won't be any loyalty from staff nor loyalty and business from the travelling public.

I always travelled VA as they were a great Airline and I was prepared to give them a go now so I have booked a Business Class fare from Brisbane - Perth - Brisbane leaving early December. This of course will totally depend upon WA opening their border .

It would be very nice to know what I may expect in J class because I am beginning to think I should have booked with Qantas as I do know what they are providing in J Class but I wanted to give VA a go as they have been so good in the past.

Bain's total lack of communication is no way to run an Airline and that's what's worrying a great deal of people and it's no good saying Jane H will be the one to start making decisions and informing the Public and staff as this should have been done by Paul S  long before now.

It seems very clear that Bain have no idea of how to run an Airline and would not let Paul do so .

One can only hope for a little miracle that the new CEO will get this awful mess sorted out soon.

The way it is right now if I could cancel my ticket and get a refund I would do so and rebook with Qantas and that's a real shame as VA were so bloody good .

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

Might be part of the strategy to keep workers on their toes, and possibly far less employees will be kept on regular full time contract and with the uncertainty of the economy Bain may get enough workers to break ranks and accept poorer conditions for the certainty, and they will concentrate on main routes if they can’t get enough crews, which is probably their intention anyway.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 769

You only tell people what they need to know until your goals are met. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 355

Really Rod, "I am beginning to think I should have booked with Qantas" ?  Mate, get it done now, there will never be a Virgin 3.0 if these reports are true.  I'm re-directing all loyalty programs to Qantas, this isn't going to end well.    

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Mar 2015

Total posts 168

Only issue I have is that because they are under administration I cannot get a refund of my Business saver fare , unless I am wrong!

If I can then I will swap to QF quick time.

Anyone know if I can cancel and get a refund?

29 Jan 2020

Total posts 22

A sad day indeed for the workers, who have delivered great service over many years!

Meanwhile Deloitte will carve up their 30 million and celebrate, would like a piece if that hourly rate!

Clearly you can’t believe a word Bain says, now the only question is how long before they cash out!

The business class noodle saga will cost the brand dearly.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

There is so many unverified promises from non Bain sources on what VA was going to be. 

If you look closely, there is probably very little press release from Bain

think bain said virgin won't be an LCC. Just because you employ a former LCC operator, doesn't mean anything, except she probably knows how to control costs.

15 Oct 2020

Total posts 1

All those wanting to switch to or book with Qantas, I can tell you the grass isn't greener on the other side!

Lounges open and useless points to earn overseas countries which we can't even fly to are no match to Qantas' worthless credits they hand out when you can no longer fly due to border closures (but the plane's still flying, so your not eligible for a refund). The rebooking fees are sometimes more than the credit you get making them worthless.

Virgin on the other hand have no rebooking fees, changed our flights in less than a couple of minutes.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 273

They say there is a sucker born every minute, in this case it’s the Qld Govt who have stumped up $200 millions to invest in this circus.

A month ago I was feeling gutted that I - along with the rest of my wide body pilot colleagues - were amongst the 3,000 casualties of VA's restructuring. Today I'm feeling gutted for the many good people who remain. Not that I'm at all surprised by these developments, for Bain are nothing if not predictable. The only thing that surprises me is just how little time they wasted in showing their true colours, but it was bound to happen. Strangely, whilst I don't relish the fact that my flying career was brought to such an abrupt and unceremonious end, I actually feel quite relieved that I won't be around to see Hrdlicka preside over the trashing of an airline that I was once proud to work for. I may no longer have a job, but I feel like I still have my dignity. I suspect there will be many who go to work next week, knowing that for as long as they remain there, they'll be routinely getting screwed with their pants on. I'm not judging anyone, as we've all gotta do what we gotta do. Fate removed the choice from me to decide whether or not to stay, but I'm just glad I'm not one of them; I'd feel like I was somehow complicit...

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

Not gloating over this but I suspect even those who remain are not guaranteed a full time position and the negotiations with TWU had stalled, and they may find they have more pilots than flight crew/ground staff for the planes, thereby cutting even more routes than announced last months to concentrate on the profitable ones 

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

BTW not sure that “Bain says the airline won't become a low-cost carrier.” Is necessarily an accurate account.

It’s Strawbridge from Deloitte who said Bain said that, not direct representatives of Bain.

We really need to learn that unless you hear it from the horses’ mouth (press release, recorded interview), whatever promises made to third parties or the reporting from interviews and the like would have to be taken with a seriously handful of salt.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 509

So in one day it looks like Bain has Curdled the Milk and under estimated the VA customer base and lost every single person who supported them, well done. Please Rex take on all those amazing staff from VA including the ones today that went above and beyond to make my flying experience amazing.

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 38

Thanks to covid, firstly a lot of people have been hit hard.  Then there is another large group who have kept their jobs but have been stuck at home and have skipped the annual trip to Thailand or wherever.  These people might actually want a travelling experience that is a bit special, not a gaslighting exercise to hit the lowest price point.  So a "hybrid" airline could be the right answer, covering the low-cost market but extending up to the mid-range as well.

18 Sep 2018

Total posts 2

With reduced traffic for the foreseable future, I think Ozjet 2 would be a better business plan than another Jetstar.

anylounge

who talking about another jetstar ? Not Bain. Mid market could be perfect in this recession that might go on for many years.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2017

Total posts 75

Alan Joyce will be one very happy man with this announcement. VA never did take the high yield customer seriously. Now QF has NO competition. I have said from day 1 VA mark 2 will be a version of JQ if not worse. This has come true. Perhaps Mr Scurrah can contract Rex? Perhaps Mr Joyce has an opportunity for him.   Such a lost opportunity for VA and such a decant man with Mr Scurrah. The new CEO has a reputation and it is not a good one.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 522

I knew something like this would occur. The ghosts on MK II's are indeed lurking and closer than we thought.

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 55

Kimstep it was a profitable airline prior to John Borghetti becoming CEO. In the early days as Virginblue under Brett Godfrey he made this airline profitable until he decided to leave. When other airlines became shareholders in that Virgin  Australia this is when problems started as they have a vested interest in protecting the own product at the expense of Virgin Australia.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 527

Hi ozpeke777,

Your quote (to which I replied) specifically refers to and states "Virgin Australia".  

As declared "Virgin Australia" was not what would be considered a profitable company (2018 $51.8m profit excepted). 

"VirginBlue" and it's chequer-board startup history effectively ceased to exist, once John Borghetti came onboard and began the airline's transformation from a single frame type, low cost carrier to a fully fledged QF competitor, with regional, local and international routes and a varied fleet of multiple frame types (ie: B777-300ER, A330's, B737-800's and 700's etc. The entire corporate and stock structure as well as the financial structure were overhauled under Borghetti. So you are comparing apples (2000-2009) to oranges (2010-2020). 

Being generous, over it's entire history, Virgin has incurred more losses than profits, from inception to date.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

I would stick out my neck here at this point to make an observation that the news of Scurrah’s departure AND the confirmation of Hrdlicka taking over is generally regarded as bad news among the “discerning connoisseurs” of the travelling community esp the business end of things.

VA advocates concerns about loss of service/downgrade of VA products and a viable alternative to QF, QF sycophants worry about the lack of competition and degradation of QF products.  

IMO VA certainly shaken up and improved airlines travel more than the good old days of QF-TAA/AN duopoly, I would admit.

I wonder if the regular leisure punter will notice or care enough at this stage or even in the next 24 months with this economy, if VA does go into “not-LCC/budget but value-for-money” setup, particularly the way this transition this is handled it does not appear Bain seemed to care if perceptions impact upon business travellers or velocity loyalty program users (unless they are so ill-advised on airline marketing and media communications to make such a fatal mistake).

Particularly if Bain’s true internation will be back to virgin blue concept until the business market picks up (minus travel casualties from Zoom of course)

in the coureir mail this am, headline

Virgin plans to steal Qantas, Jetstar passengers

26 May 2016

Total posts 16

Now that the dust is settling on the management shake-up at virgin, I still have my fingers crossed the virgin loyalists (myself included) get the outcome we were promised.

I'd like to make a two points, firstly I was a massive fan of Paul with what he was able to do at virgin in such little time. He has an unbelievable track record and his tenure at virgin should undoubtably be a box ticked for him. However, I think Jane might be the right person now to do with EBA's what Paul was not which brings me to my second point. 

The comments coming from the TWU over the last couple of day is just utter union movement nonsense. Again calling on the federal government to step in because Bain is putting profit over people. All businesses exist to make a profit and virgin is definitely not an exception. If Bain cannot turn this business around then none of us will have a virgin in the future which is a far worse outcome than TWU domineering tactics.

The 'Noodlegate' saga has been a bad look for virgin's premium offering and i'm hoping once Bain take control and borders reopen their premium offering is improved and we are a step closer to Bain delivering us the virgin they have promised us. 

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

It’s only 3 months ago some of us were debating if Luke Mangan’s menu was worth the money that was charged.

I don’t think that any of us saw the noodlegate coming. 

I agree the TWU will probably not get any help from any government in their negotiations with Bain

any union associated with virgin is stuffed. Union members should save their money & not pay their union fees.

What can unions do ?

It's a take it or leave it deal.

Go on strike & won't be any job to go back to.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 527

What concerns me more than anything it that most people discussing here are merely comparing what will happen domestically between VA and QF/Jetstar/Rex etc - apologies to Alliance and all others.

Thinking back to when Borghetti took over, he restructured the entire Virgin business, including setting up Virgin Australia Pty Ltd and then Virgin Australia International, to whom the shareholding of international rights / shares was 'given'. Remember, that Qantas strongly challenged this highly technical sleight-of-hand in court, claiming that VA had breached Federal Government rules on what is an 'allowable" Australian company. Qantas lost - but only just.

Given that Bain & Co. was given approval by the Federal Treasurer to bid for the entirety of Virgin under Australian Government Foreign Ownership rules, I wonder how a 100% owned US company (Bain & Co) could operate international routes outside Australia and still remain within the ambit of 51% local (Australian) ownership. Come November, the Virgin shares will presumably be de-listed. If Virgin (Mark whatever) is to ever resume New Zealand or elsewhere outside Australia, how will this be achieved?

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

I think that the issue of foreign ownership and international route would only remain in the domain for the government of the day and operational plans for Bain after they sorted out the domestic market. 

Given the takeover condition, employment market and competition rules, the foothold gained by Bain will have long lasting effects, with regulators having to thread carefully applying ownership rules and government even bending backwards to accommodate them

But the Americans are our mates, right?

Imagine the disproportionate scrutiny if an Asian company like Temasek (of Singapore), any China-based company (=CCP by default), Japanese conglomerate (shady Yakuza mafia dealings) or middle eastern kingdom supported funds come in and bought VA? 

The indignity!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 527

"I think that the issue of foreign ownership and international route would only remain in the domain for the government of the day and operational plans for Bain after they sorted out the domestic market." 

I am sure that both Qantas and the Australian Federal Government would NOT agree with you, XWu - especially on the "bending backwards to accommodate them" comment. You forget that Qantas is required to operate globally under the "Qantas SALE Act" which defines the amount of minimum local Australian ownership, which is sealed under law. Qantas has this habit of quoting an oft-repeated 'Level playing-field' phrase. Kinda makes the Govt of the day quake in their boots.

The 'scrutiny' to which you allude ( Asian, Chinese etc) was exactly what Qantas considered when SQ,ET, NZ, Branson, Hainan, Nanshan et al bought into the restructured Virgin Australia.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 192

@kimshep

Sorry you may have to help me out here if you are trying to point out some error in my last post,because I am too dumb to understand where I went wrong

I wrote “ issue of foreign ownership and international route would only remain in the domain for the government of the day and operational plans for Bain after they sorted out the domestic market” as I don’t think Bain would want to plan for a return to international route (regardless of what is announced by VA so far (its not Bain who making those announcement AFAIK) until the domestic network stabilise.

They can always operate international routes in the kind of holding structures (like in regular flyers post below) as VA holdings did previously despite being majority owned by foreign entities. There were plenty of internet articles with explanation of what JB did to ply the international routes within the rules from 2011 I think 

All this was technically legal although not intended in the spirit when Qantas sale act 1992 was enacted (labor government) to flatten the playing field while forcing QF to buy TAA (but that’s another argument). Thus to make it fairer the government of the day in 2013 again considered a change for increased flexibility for foreign ownership of Qantas in 2014, but not everything was approved as Qantas wanted (I think the international bit remain limited at 49% limit foreign ownership) but the domestic cap was changed with bipartisan support.

Not trying to give a history lesson here but just further explaining the comments I made



kimshep

it's not rocket science. 50 ways to skin a cat

1st possibility is Bain Capital Australia takes 50.1%. They can still send profits to anywhere in the world they want to.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 252

Virgin Australia International was set up in the Brett Godfrey era, under Pacific Blue Pty Ltd (NZ) (VAi-Short Haul) and V Australia Pty Ltd (VAi-Long Haul).

For a while some of the old Pacific Blue planes had to put a "Airline of Virgin Blue" underneath due to using the DJ (Virgin Blue) Australian AOC for their Bali/Phuket flights.

Borghetti only rebranded both identities under VAi Short Haul (Formerly Pacific Blue) and VAi Long Haul (formely V Australia).

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 55

Kimshep like I stated under John Borghetti as CEO of Virgin Australia and his personal war with Qantas, he put in motion the demise of Virgin Australia. So getting back on topic here which was the resignation of Paul Scurrah as CEO  of Virgin Australia, I guess all of us will have to wait and see which direction Virgin Australia under Bain ownership ends up going. Like others have said here,  if they make it a low cost airline then many will probably jump over to Qantas. I personally will have a wait and see approach as Virgin Australia has always been my preferred  airline. 

blamex

hardly !!!

Qantas must be shitting themselves. Hardlicker, will cut costs, especially labor costs, but V2 will not be jetstar. Mid market is what is needed. Think Scurrah was too soft & too close to unions.

She might be a hard bitch, but that's probably what's needed.

Qantas have a huge problem with costs, that are way too high. Many will not pay their higher fares.

It’s crazy what qantas try to get away with. Look at peak season next year to LAX. $2500 return & higher in economy, when you can fly 1 stop for under $1000.

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

11 Sep 2015

Total posts 37

Easy with the mysoginistic language pal!

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 55

Kimshep read DanV's post he is right on the money. Thanks DanV.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 527

ozpeke777 - I've read DanV's post and have no major disagreement with it. 

But it does not support your assertion that "...... saw the demise of Virgin Australia, a very profitable airline in it's own right until this war was waged and implemented."

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 55

So kimshep what caused the demise of Virgin Australia?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 252

Virgin in Australia was profitable under the old Virgin Blue branding and LCC service under the Brett Godfrey era under 2 owners (Branson/Virgin Group and Toll). 

NZ came in as a shareholder later when Toll starting selling down their stake.

When JB took over as CEO, and took on extra investors SQ, EY, etc after Toll further sold down their shareholdings, and did the "game changer" move to Virgin Australia, that is when the 'new VA' started losing money on a consistent basis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 191

What is wrong with people on here and wanting to turn fact into fiction. Acting like it's the end of the world and commenting decisions like virgin will lose all their customer base. Get a bloody grip on reality, if you came faced to getting point A to B for less then a competing airline where you get a crappy meal included I'd bet you ain't gonna think twice about saving your own cash and going with cheaper fare. And what happens now doesn't dictate what's to be in 2-3-5 years time.

The direction is STILL not low cost, not Jetstar but in between that and qantas to focus on broad spectrum of market offering value. 

AGAIN into he statement made by Scurrah "I know there has been speculation about the shape of the airline into the future, and I have reaffirmed with Bain Capital that Virgin Australia will not be repositioned as a low-cost carrier. Virgin Australia will be a “hybrid” airline, offering great value to customers by delivering a distinctive Virgin experience at competitive prices. This will appeal to the full spectrum of travellers, from premium corporate through to more budget-focused customers."

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 55

DanV this is the point I was trying to make to kimshep as I did say in my previous post that before JB under BG the airline was profitable. The technicality  Kinshep was hung up on is, I said Vigin Australia branded aircraft instead of Virgin Blue Aircraft including Pacific blue and V Australia.

It seems to me that when JB became CEO and along with the board of directors and they took on extra investors  that you have stated in your last post, a decision was made to make Virgin Australia the same as Qantas, a full service airline and the war stated for marketshare, with extra flights, routes and hundreds of extra seats daily. This was probably what led to substantial losses for Virgin Australia and Qantas too,  but Qantas has bigger pockets financially and could weather this storm better.

I get the impression that Kinshep does not think this played a part with Virgin Australia collapsing  and also with covid-19 arriving,  which sunk the last nail into the coffin for Virgin Australia and no chance of it trading out of their spiralling debt. 

This is my last response on this topic. We live in a great country where democracy is upheld and we can all have differing points of view.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 191

I think the tide has turned on who has bigger pockets of cash now between VA and QF..QF has billion dollar loans now?

08 May 2020

Total posts 54

interesting times ahead. If VA2 gets anywhere near the Quality of Jetstar then my Plat. Card colour will change to Red

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

01 Mar 2012

Total posts 175

There is a lot more to this than meets the eye. There is a well curated image of the previous CEO that doesn’t match what has actually been happening and one of the reasons he had to go. A s&$tshow is how It has been described to me.

Scurrah seems to have been a strange choice for CEO at virgin. Apparently he did nothing at Qld Rail to strop union rorts.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Mar 2015

Total posts 168

Wow! I don't think I have seen so many responses to a topic in this forum before this one.

It just goes to show that there are one hell of a lot of people who are very concerned about the future of VA when it comes out of administration.

Having booked a full fare Business Class seat to Perth in Dec. I for one will be anxiously watching the outcome.

Apart from my personal concerns about my ticket I really feel for the employees who just don't know where they are headed.

TIME FOR BAIN AND JANE TO STUMP UP AND INFORM ALL OF US !!!!!!!!!!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 450

Rod, VA after administration is certainly unpredictable, but is your booking on one the days of the week that VA actually currently operate to Perth?  Increasing flights to Perth seems unlikely while McGowan clings to his border policy.

looking at flying to Queenstown NZ in winter. Without virgin, who will be flying Brisbane to Queenstown ? Qantas, Air NZ (will they increase services or will fares go up a lot), or maybe Jetstar, who haven't flown this route before.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Mar 2015

Total posts 168

GregXL. Yes , it is and I even have my seat number .

What does concern me is what happens if they decide to abandon J Class and just go " Premium Economy ".

If they do then do I have the right to a refund as " Business Class " which I paid for does not exist?

The big problem with the Airlines is the crazy Border policy that most Premiers cannot agree to yet still exists and is so bloody restrictive even if you come from a safe State.

Interesting times ahead for all.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 306

i was stunned about the cup of noodle joke.having flown qantas business class brisbane to adelaide coming home from a gold coast trip first time.i had this kosher meal(forgot what was in it)but the person next to me had a delicious curry.if that's how virgin want to treat people at the top all i can say is the subway and other food places in the airports are looking good by comparison.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Mar 2015

Total posts 168

I see from some press reports and media releases  that Bain will take formal control of VA "BY " Oct 31st.

There seems to be some activity in the booking and cancellation section of VA's web site that mentions changes can take place until 21st Oct then new rules apply in some cases.

Does that mean that Oct 21st is the date? 

The date quoted was " by " Oct 31st which leaves it open to any time before then. 


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