22nd February 2002
VIRGIN BLUE AND TESNA AGREE TO GO THEIR OWN WAY
STATEMENT BY VIRGIN BLUE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER BRETT GODFREY
"In recent weeks, Virgin Blue and Tesna have held discussions focusing on a variety of options including the merger of the two airlines.
Virgin Blue has determined that both its financial interests as well as the future needs of its staff and customers is best served by remaining independent.
At the same time, we believe Tesna has valid reasons to pursue its own goals.
Our decision should not be interpreted in any way as a statement about Tesna or its business plan. The talks that took place were both professional and amicable. Our airline was built and was profitable in a three, and even a four, airline environment. We have always welcomed healthy competition and we wish them well in their endeavour.
Virgin Blue will stick to the strategy that it has maintained since day one - offering top quality low fare service to millions of people across the country.
In the history of global commercial aviation, Virgin Blue is one of only a few start-up carriers to return a consistent and growing profit in only its first 18 months.
In addition, if one looks around the world today, the airlines that are clearing succeeding are those that have stuck to the consumer friendly Southwest low fare model.
While Virgin Blue is presently the second largest airline in the country, we believe our people make us Australia's number one airline when it comes to service.
With the most modern fleet in Australia and the tremendous enthusiasm of the over 1500 Virgin Blue staff, we believe there is nothing that can stop us from providing our low fare, high quality service to more and more of Australia."