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Virgin Australia: Hoarding Sydney Airport slots?

Virgin Australia: Hoarding Sydney Airport slots?

The SMH and Patrick Hatch are reporting that Virgin Australia is holding on to more take-off and landing slots at Sydney Airport than it has aircraft to service them. Now, this is not a problem, unless you are a budding airline like new kid potentially on the block ‘Bonza‘ airlines.

ACCC and REX have their eyes on you Virgin Australia

In its recent report, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission criticised slot hoarding as an anti-competitive measure it needed to address. In fact, it promised that it would be watching the airline industry for a whole bunch of potentially anti-competitive measures.

Business Sydney (the Sydney Business Chamber) has raised the accusation. It is lobbying the federal government to call back any unused slots, especially those held by the now-defunct budget arm of Virgin, Tigerair.

Rex Airlines has ratted Virgin to the chamber apparently, who have then raised it with Barnaby Joyce, the Transport Minister, and Deputy PM. Virgin Australia only has 68 aircraft, when it used to have nearly double that (133) before it went into administration and was bought by new owners. Even an additional 9 aircraft it plans to acquire before March 2022 will not be enough to fill all the slots it holds at Sydney Airport.

2PAXfly Takeout

Hoarding of slots does not encourage competition, so I expect Virgin will be getting a ‘please explain from somebody soon.

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