Here’s a message for Virgin Australia: It’s time to move on.
It’s clear that the value bet is in the Auckland-Apia route (sector) and that is why Virgin Australia is adamant to get its hands on it.
Firstly, Air New Zealand (based in NZ) and soon-to-fly Samoa Airways (based in Samoa) fly this route because they rightfully own it.
Virgin Australia is the outsider who applied for a license but were not granted one. Why can’t they get the message and just move on?
Obviously Virgin’s petulance is showing when they asked Goliath (Australian Govt.) to flex its muscles by shaking David a-la-Samoan Government. Didn’t work.
Secondly, Virgin should invest in building better relations with the small nations they negotiate with. For instance, in January this year Tiger Air, which is owned by Virgin Australia, was sanctioned in Bali for allegedly breaching Indonesian regulations by operating charter flights and issuing one-way tickets.
Hundreds of passengers were left stranded in Bali as a result.
During negotiations with the Samoan Government, this is the same Tiger Air which Virgin Australia suggested to Samoa that they consider to take over as Samoa’s National Carrier. No thank you.
In soccer, if you play towards the wrong direction you may end up with an own goal. It was plain to see that Virgin Australia were not heading the same direction as the Government of Samoa, their Joint Venture partners. That’s why this, to me, seems to be Virgin’s own goal.