Virgin Australia has quickly responded to the grounding of Qantas' mainline domestic and long-haul flights that went into affect at 5pm on 29-Oct-2011 in a bold move to make three of Qantas' unions settle ongoing wage and job security disputes.
In a nearly globally unprecedented occurrence, Virgin Australia is liaising with the Australian government to allow its alliance partners – Air New Zealand, Delta, Etihad and Singapore Airlines – to operate their foreign-registered aircraft domestically in Australia to help clear the impending backlog of Qantas customers. Qantas says it carrier 68,000 domestic and international passengers a day.
See related article: Qantas throws gauntlet to unions by grounding fleet and locking out union employees
The carrier reports its off-duty staff are calling in to ask if they can help with the situation.
Virgin Australia is in the midst of a brand and product transformation that will see the carrier become a full-service airline in direct competition to Qantas. Ongoing industrial action at Qantas may provide a huge and lasting boost in high-yielding corporate clientele. Virgin wants to increase its share of the Australian corporate market from 10% to 20%.