Air Transport World

A Virgin down under.(new local airline planned in Australia)(Brief Article)

Richard Branson plans to break the long-held duopoly of Qantas and Ansett in the Australian domestic market by launching his own locally based low-fare operation in mid-2000, operating four or five 737-300s on domestic trunk routes with a budget-style service modeled on his European no-frills Virgin Express. The initial investment would be about $30 million.

Branson said the Australian operation probably would start in July, ahead of the Olympic Games in Sydney in Sept., and should be profitable within three years. …

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