Virgin Australia Blasts Qantas Over 'Offensive' and 'False Allegations'

Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti and Sir Richard Branson pshare a light hearted moment after holding a press conference at Perth Airport on May 7, 2013 in Perth. Photo: Getty/Paul Kane

Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti has blasted Qantas over what he called offensive and false allegations.

“To say that Virgin Australia is driven by a strategy of uncompetitively low prices and irrational behaviour is offensive and absurd,” he told Virgin’s annual general meeting

“When you bring in competition to a monopoly, prices go down.

“If this is affecting our competitor’s bottom line, I am not going to apologise.

“Australian travellers and the Australian economy are benefiting and ultimately shareholders will too.”

Qantas chief Alan Joyce has complained to the federal government that Virgin Australia’s $350 million capital raising benefits Virgin Australia’s major shareholders, Air New Zealand, Etihad and Singapore Airlines — all foreign competitors.

Joyce says this is an act by “predatory” state airlines to undercut Australia’s national carrier, cripple it domestically and internationally, and take over its routes.

The Virgin capital raising was “supported and largely underwritten by three foreign governments”.

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