Bloomberg News

Virgin Australia’s Parent Rises After Singapore Air Accord

June 07, 2011

(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph.)

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Virgin Australia’s parent rose the most in almost a month in Sydney trading after announcing a tie- up with Singapore Airlines Ltd., bolstering efforts to win business flyers from Qantas Airways Ltd.

Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. climbed 3.5 percent to 29.5 cents at the 4:10 p.m. close of trading in Sydney, the most since May 9. Qantas, Australia’s largest carrier, fell 1.3 percent to A$1.93, its fourth straight day of losses.

Singapore Air and Virgin Australia will coordinate schedules and sell each others’ tickets under the accord, which adds about 70 destinations to the Brisbane-based carrier’s network, the companies said today. Virgin Australia has also signed deals with Air New Zealand Ltd., Etihad Airways and Delta Air Lines Inc. as it tries to double its share of Australia’s business-travel market to 20 percent.

“It’s a huge step forward for us and it really does complete our alliance strategy,” John Borghetti, Virgin Blue’s chief executive officer, told reporters in Singapore today. “The whole point of the alliance is making us more competitive in Australia.”

Additional Destinations

The agreement will also give Singapore Air access to about 30 additional destinations through Virgin Australia’s network, the airlines said in a statement. That will bolster the Singaporean carrier’s sales presence in Australia, where commodity exports and economic growth are stoking travel.

Singapore Air dropped 0.4 percent to S$14.08 as of 4:12 p.m. in the city-state. It’s declined 8 percent this year.

The carriers expect the alliance to take effect this year, subject to regulatory approval, according to the statement.

Virgin Australia, the nation’s second-biggest carrier, in May unveiled a new name, livery and cabins as it shed the last remnants of a low-cost identity to help win business-class travelers. Parent Virgin Blue still retains the old brand name.

--With assistance from Tim Smith in Sydney. Editors: Neil Denslow, Lena Lee

To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Fenner in Melbourne at; Kyunghee Park in Singapore at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at

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