Virgin Blue CEO John Borghetti stated the group plans to unveil a “very different airline” in 1H2011, which will be “quite the opposite” to Qantas (The Australian, 30-Dec-2010). According to the CEO, Qantas is a stuffy establishment carrier held up by legacy issues, something which the younger Virgin is not affected by. The carrier has been working to revamp its branding, with everything including livery, seating and uniforms under review. Mr Borghetti believes this will bring a new standard of travel and pricing to the Australian market and the changes will be delivered in half the time it usually takes. He added the carrier’s customer service and “very sharp pencil in pricing” will not be changed. The CEO also rejected criticism that his plans will not work.
Virgin Blue: “But what we do want to be, and what we are driving to, is being an airline that is relevant in today's world for both the leisure and the business traveller domestically and internationally. So we're able to create a product going into this new space that is relevant to today rather than a product that has been around for decades and simply gets refreshed. And that's the big difference. I think what you've got is an opportunity where we can make a real difference to the pricing levels because of our cost base, because we're designing for that market with a clean bit of paper … because we are designing with a clean bit of paper we can design a product that is today's product rather than yesterday's product, where we've just added more marble and more silverware. I quite enjoy, actually, people being sceptical about it and saying it won't work. You grin to yourself and say, that's your view, come and see me in a year's time and we'll see what your view is,” John Borghetti, CEO. Source: The Australian, 30-Dec-2010.