Virgin Australia to buy Skywest Airlines as part of an airline grab that also saw Virgin taking a 60pc stake in low-cost carrier, Tiger Airways Australia.
Skywest is a major player in the “fly-in-fly-out” sector and operates flight across regional WA and to Melbourne and Denpasar (Bali). The deal is worth AU$47 million as a FULL BUYOUT and will be completed by March 2013.
Virgin Australia CEO, John Borghetti said that it is part of his three-tier choice for flying business for travellers:
Qantas or Virgin Australia
Jetstar or Tiger
QantasLink or Skywest
“It will enable us to fast-track our advancement in the high growth fly-in-fly out and regional markets, increasing competition in these important segments.
“We launched a regional partnership with Skywest in October 2011 and now we will be able to realise the full potential of the operation through developing a more integrated network, service and frequent flyer program
stated John Borghetti today
In related news, Singapore Airlines is buying a 10pc stake in Virgin Australia.
**The deal is conditional on approval from Australian and Singaporean regulators, as well as Skywest shareholders.**