Premier Ted Baillieu and Minister responsible for the Aviation Industry Gordon Rich-Phillips today welcomed Virgin Australia’s plans to increase investment in Victoria by acquiring a 60 per cent stake in Tiger Airways.
“This planned deal could see Melbourne-based Tiger Airlines grow from 11 up to 35 aircraft by 2018, which would certainly increase the size of Tiger’s operations and generate a significant number of jobs for Victorian aviation,” Mr Baillieu said.
“The plans announced today are also good news for Victorians, with the potential for more low-cost flights out of Victoria opening up a number of new destinations, and of course an increase in inbound tourism.
“An increase in services will bring a direct benefit to Victoria’s tourism, retail and hospitality industries,” Mr Baillieu said.
Mr Rich-Phillips said Virgin and Singapore Airlines-backed Tiger have agreed to commit just over $62 million jointly to fund the growth of Tiger in Australia, and the Government was confident that much of that growth would benefit Victoria.
“Virgin’s announcement today is another testament to the strength of Victoria’s aviation sector and our capacity to increase airline services at Melbourne’s curfew-free airport, as compared to Sydney, which currently does not have any flexibility to attract this type of further aviation investment,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
The Victorian Coalition Government also recently announced as part of the Super Trade Mission to China that China’s Sichuan Airlines would establish its Australian headquarters in Melbourne and commence direct flights between Chengdu and Melbourne.
Mr Baillieu said today’s announcement of the planned growth of Tiger Airways, together with the establishment of Sichuan Airlines in Victoria and the commencement of international services from Avalon, sent a strong message to other airlines seeking to invest or expand in Australia.
Virgin Australia’s 60 per cent acquisition of Tiger Airways is subject to approvals from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).