In a strange twist, V Australia has just requested to give back its hard won air rights to Fiji to sister airline Pacific Blue after scrapping together enough seats to fly its daily Boeing 777-ERs.
After a tug-of-war between Virgin Group and Qantas Group over air rights between Australia and Fiji, the Australian government decided to make the two airlines split the available air rights, leaving neither carrier able to fly the full component of flights it was requesting.
But after transferral of Pacific Blue’s existing rights to V Australia was confirmed, and combined with the 907 seats per week granted by the government, the long-haul arm of Virgin Group was able to scrape together enough rights to operate daily services.
This week, V Australia has applied to the International Air Services Commission (IASC) to transfer back the 360 seats from Pacific Blue.
“V Australia now seeks the agreement of the Commission for the 360 seats transferred to V Australia to be re-allocated to PBA for use in the Australia-Fiji market,” said V Australia in its submission.
In its submission V Australia said the move was its “response to market conditions” and instead would operate six services a week. The day which it will drop its service will then be taken up by sister airline Pacific Blue in its smaller B737-900s.
With the remainder of the rights, Pacific Blue will also be able to operate a Melbourne to Nadi service as well.
e-Travel Blackboard sought comment from V Australia on the decision, but they were unavailable as of publication.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X