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Tuesday 2 December 2008: The Virgin Blue Group of Airlines has welcomed the Federal Government’s effort to seek a balance between necessary on-going economic reform; the national interest and the aviation sector's role in achieving that; and the primacy of aviation safety and security as outlined in its Aviation Green Paper released today by the Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, The Hon. Anthony Albanese.


“We believe this is a responsible approach by the Government as it works towards developing a comprehensive long-term plan for Australia’s aviation industry and, of course, we are particularly pleased that the Government has reaffirmed its commitment to protecting the national interest by recognising that Australian airlines compete in an international aviation environment where not all countries are subject to the same rules”, Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said.


Brett Godfrey continued, “For the Government to openly and frankly acknowledge Australian airlines are often required to operate on a playing field heavily slanted by foreign government ownership, subsidies and other forms of industry assistance is reassuring, as Australian airlines have long presented this view.”


“Our new international airline V Australia, will deliver to international long-haul air travellers what Virgin Blue did for domestic air travellers when we launched eight years ago – true and sustainable competition and value-for-money, while not compromising safety or product quality.”


The Virgin Blue Group also applauds the Government’s focus on maintaining the highest possible safety and security standards for our industry – also our highest priority.

We wholeheartedly support efforts to improve the coordination, consultation and oversight of planning and development of Australia’s future airport, aviation and flight operations. In particular a solution is well overdue to remedy the on again off again national aviation bottleneck now occurring at Sydney.


The Green Paper also acknowledges the importance of a national industry consciousness regarding the impact of aviation on climate change. Virgin Blue also supports a balanced approach to this responsibility. Our company is pursuing a range of environmental management initiatives and has been active in the push to improve air traffic management as a means to lowering carbon emissions.


“On the face of it, this is a comprehensive review and the Government is to be congratulated on the level of detail and subjective analysis of what are very complex issues. We look forward to working with the Government in the lead up to the finalisation of the White Paper,” Mr Godfrey said.