Virgin Australia would continue flying to Los Angeles, and restart its prematurely halted Brisbane-Tokyo service, under a rescue plan put to potential buyers of the failed airline.
Other nearby destinations including New Zealand, Bali and Fiji would also remain on Virgin's map.
More controversially, it's said that the proposal – distributed to bidders ahead of a Friday May 15 deadline for their first offers – also suggests Virgin Mk II would launch a new low-cost carrier to replace Tigerair Australia and compete against Jetstar.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the plan "put to interested parties by the airline's management" forms part of a confidential package "distributed to key bidders by the airline's administrators, Deloitte."
Virgin Mk II, but not so new?
It would effectively recreate Virgin Australia without the crushing $5bn debt which it shouldered before collapsing into administration just over three weeks ago, and require heavily-reduced leasing fees on almost half of its fleet, including some 41 out of 85 Boeing 737 workhorses and all six Airbus A330s.
Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah, who remains at the helm during the administration period, has maintained there was nothing intrinsically wrong with the airline's business model or the plans he had in place "to turn a great airline into a great business."
Speaking to media following the airline's descent into administration on April 21, Scurrah said he still saw "a role for some international flying," but allowed that "ultimately what we do in the future will be a decision for those who buy us."
Deloitte and the Virgin management team is said to be pitching Virgin 2.0 as capable of chalking up $1.2 billion in pre-tax profit against an estimated $5 billion in revenue by the middle of 2023, which is when the airline hopes to have pulled out of the coronavirus clouds and be flying steadily in the 'new norm'.
Flying into a crowded market
However, that new norm could also include include a new competitor in the form of regional airline Rex, which this week said it would launch direct flights between Australia's mainland capital cities.
The $200m play to become the country's "third airline" would see Rex carve out a share of the east coast's highly-profitable 'Golden Boomerang' corridor as well as the coast-to-coast transcontinental route.
Those city pairs would be connected by 10 leased single-aisle jets, either in the Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 series, with the service positioned as a 'hybrid' carrier which Rex deputy chairman John Sharp described as "halfway between a full-service airline and a low-cost airline."
A similar mid-market positioning is among the scenarios being considered by Virgin's score of suitors, alongside a return to the airline's low-cost Virgin Blue roots – an approach likely to be championed by at least two bidders, US private equity firm Indigo Partners and the founder of India's ultra-low cost IndiGo airline – and a smaller but still full-service 'boutique' Virgin 2.0 model.
Downsizing the new Virgin to be a domestic-only airline, at least in the short term due to ongoing travel restrictions, or pared back to a small number of 'local' overseas routes including New Zealand, are other options available.