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Virgin Blue Response to Aviation White Paper

16/12/2009

Wednesday 16 Dec 2009: Virgin Blue Airlines Group said today it welcomes and congratulates the Government on issuing Australia's comprehensive policy statement for the aviation industry. It addresses all key issues facing the sector and provides certainty for the industry going forward.

 

Chief Executive Officer Brett Godfrey said "We wholeheartedly support the emphasis on safety and security, planning for future growth and an acknowledgement of the importance of an Australian based aviation industry."

 

"We look forward to engaging with the Government and our industry partners and competitors to achieve the advancements Australian aviation must achieve to remain relevant and achieve growth in the global industry," he said.

 

"We particularly welcome the Government's reaffirmed position on air services liberalisation, which recognises the need for a balanced approach, pursuing and preserving opportunities for Australian carriers.”

 

Mr Godfrey said the White Paper had accurately pinpointed the need for an improved, integrated air traffic management framework to achieve greater efficiency.

 

"On security, we welcome the good sense approach including the relaxation of restrictions on on-board luggage, which now brings us into line with international markets" he said.

 

"We are encouraged that our representations and those of others regarding harmonising passenger and baggage screening at regional ports, although the gradual phase in of the new arrangements through to 2014 is longer than we would like."

 

"The need to accommodate projected growth in demand through Sydney is recognised by the Government and we are pleased at the establishment of a Task Force to investigate options for a second Sydney airport.

 

“We also welcome the commitment to keep Brisbane airport curfew free. Virgin Blue remains a continuing advocate for the airport's 24-hour status which was a key reason for establishing our operations in Brisbane in 2000 to enable maximum operational efficiency contributing to our ability to offer consistently lower airfares.