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-   -   Government Loan to Virgin Australia (https://www.pprune.org/australia-new-zealand-pacific/631164-government-loan-virgin-australia.html)

coaldemon 11th Apr 2020 02:48

Whether you like him or not BG has actually hit it on the head. No point funding an entity that can't actually recognise it has costed itself out of the market. This is what Chapter 11 in the US is about. If you can't prove that you will be able to restructure you don't get all the protections and benefits.


The Bullwinkle 11th Apr 2020 02:55


No point funding an entity that can't actually recognise it has costed itself out of the market.
But the moron who did all of that has now gone.
Paul Scurrah (along with Blind Freddy) is acutely aware of how the costs were blown out and he was actively rectifying the situation.
He was making reasonable progress of undoing a decade of mismanagement when this Coronavirus came along.
If there had not been COVID-19, Virgin was definitely on the path to profitability.

markontop 11th Apr 2020 03:02

IRONY
How the nationally of the 40% owners are the same one’s responsible for the pandemic leading to VAH tenuous position.

normanton 11th Apr 2020 03:10


Originally Posted by The Bullwinkle (Post 10746247)
If there had not been COVID-19, Virgin was definitely on the path to profitability.

Funny, I've heard that countless times over the past decade.

Forgive me, but I don't want my tax payer dollars spent on a whim of a gamble.

spektrum 11th Apr 2020 03:32

This is what the ABC is teaching young Australians. Money printing is fine so lets bail everyone out.

https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/progr...lfare/12133292

777Nine 11th Apr 2020 03:34


Originally Posted by The Bullwinkle (Post 10746247)
But the moron who did all of that has now gone.
Paul Scurrah (along with Blind Freddy) is acutely aware of how the costs were blown out and he was actively rectifying the situation.
He was making reasonable progress of undoing a decade of mismanagement when this Coronavirus came along.
If there had not been COVID-19, Virgin was definitely on the path to profitability.

They left it too long and all it was going to take was something like this to push them to go under. Not his fault as the investors have to be held accountable here along with the previous management.

I don't feel that it's right to use taxpayer's money when the investors can easily stump up $1.4billion. Shared between them it's like $350million each.

Dale Hardale 11th Apr 2020 04:33

One of the factors in a continue or fold scenario is the staff entitlements and how much erosion and loss of these entitlements occurs as time goes on and cash is burnt in fixed overheads.

The company is essentially at close to zero operating income, so I would imagine there is some serious soul searching going on at Virgin, to get to the most appropriate outcome for everyone.

The Bullwinkle 11th Apr 2020 05:49

Weekend Australian article by Steve Creedy



Troubled Virgin reduced to a wing and industry prayers

Dark memories of the 2001 Ansett collapse are stalking the Australian aviation industry again as debate rages over the future of Virgin Australia.

They hark back to a traumatic time that led to the loss of 15,000 direct jobs, suicides by former workers, shattered careers, broken companies and higher full-service fares for corporate customers.

It resulted in a $10 ticket tax that raised more than $250m for employee entitlements and resulted in Qantas becoming the 400lb gorilla of Australian aviation.

Questions again are being asked about whether we want to repeat that trauma or see the government step in to ensure that a vital Australian industry remains competitive.

Virgin chief executive Paul Scurrah was managing 550 people at Ansett when the end came in what he describes as one of the most distressing periods of his career.

He recalls seeing families where two or three generations lost their income and economic carnage among businesses that relied on the airline.

Scurrah tells The Weekend Australian this is partly why he has been working tirelessly to avoid a repeat of the “long-lasting” pain of the Ansett collapse.

“A huge amount of businesses went broke but the thing that sticks in my mind most about it is the mental health cost,’’ he says.

“There were many much-loved people who couldn’t see beyond the crisis for whatever reason and that was the most distressing part of the whole exercise.”

Virgin has appealed to the federal government for an urgent “statement of confidence” and $1.4bn in assistance but has yet to receive a response. Analysts are predicting the airline could run out of money within as little as three months.

The dire nature of the situation was underscored on Friday when Virgin cut its already reduced flying schedule to a daily service between Melbourne and Sydney because of the enormous fall in demand.

It continues to fly repatriation flights and some charter services in areas such as the resources sector, but for all intents and purposes it has gone into hibernation after previously standing down 8000 people and announcing it would make 1000 redundant.

It looks grim — it is grim — but it is not Ansett.

The factors behind Ansett’s downfall were many and complex but the trigger was a decision by Air New Zealand to exercise its pre-emptive rights on a half share owned by News Ltd.

A deal had been done for the stake to be taken over by deep-pocketed Singapore Airlines, with the proviso that then Ansett chief executive Rod Eddington stay at the helm.

Air New Zealand was unprepared for the problems at the Australian carrier or to take on the aggressively competitive Qantas, which also had lobbied against Singapore’s involvement.

The move almost killed the Kiwi carrier — the New Zealand government had to step in to save it — and it left a cast-off, debt-laden and gutted Ansett mortally wounded.

Virgin Australia was a long way from the poster boy category of Qantas when it came to pre-COVID-19 profitability, but it was nowhere near the miserable final state of Ansett.

Like other airlines globally, however, it has been devastated by government restrictions, passenger fears and a colossal slump in demand.

“Ansett was a dead dog and Virgin isn’t really,” says CAPA Centre for Aviation chairman emeritus Peter Harbison. “These circumstances are just totally different.”

Qantas has been lobbying hard against Virgin receiving any special assistance, arguing it should be given $4.2bn if Virgin receives $1.4bn, but Harbison argues that the government should be looking not at fairness to Qantas but what is in the public interest.

The latest estimate of Virgin’s economic contribution to Australia is about $11bn but the airline says the loss would amount to $30bn if it were to disappear because of the flow-on impact to jobs, infrastructure and suppliers.

Harbison views the circumstances on the other side of the pandemic as unknown and “potentially worse than most people are contemplating”.

He believes the government faces a choice of letting Virgin collapse or keeping it alive and having “at least the seeds of a competitive environment”.

He is also doubtful that another airline will be rushing to fill the vacuum if Virgin falls over.

“You have Qantas, which is the most powerful domestic airline of any in the world in terms of market coverage and really seriously good management,’’ he says. “What airline in their right minds is going to start up against them?”

There is also another key difference when it comes to the situation with Ansett, according to Virgin founder and former chief executive Brett Godfrey.

He notes that at the time of Ansett’s collapse, there were already two other more efficient airlines operating in Australia — the Qantas Group and the small but disruptive Virgin Blue.

“If you take a step back and look at the differences, they were that you had an airline (Virgin Blue) that had nine aeroplanes in the market at that time and a trajectory that showed it had great potential to fill the void,’’ he says. “And so they were able to step into the breach.

“It’s different this time because you don’t have an indispensable second competitor in the wings.”

Godfrey echoes Harbison’s doubts about a new entrant, arguing: “If Virgin falls over, we end up with a lottery. Given every airline in the world today is hibernating, those that survive to fly ‘tomorrow’ will have their hands full recommencing in their home markets, let alone launching new brands in Australia.”

One similarity with 2001 is Qantas is likely to have excess international aircraft it can deploy in the domestic market to fill some of the void left by a Virgin collapse. The expectation is that domestic travel will take off before international.

Qantas and others have been vocal in arguing that Virgin’s existing shareholders — Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Nanshan group and HNA — should stump up the cash to help Virgin, but there is little faith this will happen.

These are companies embroiled in their own crises and even Singapore Airlines’ long-harboured desire for a foothold in the Australian domestic market is taking a back seat to survival, despite the $US19bn ($21bn) the company is adding to its war chest with the help of its state-owned major investor.

Others believe the government should give foreign carriers the ability to carry passengers on some Australian domestic routes if Virgin fails. But none of the industry figures contacted by The Weekend Australian say they think this system, known as cabotage, is a good idea.

“Cabotage is an interesting theory but it never works in practice,’’ says one former airline chief executive, pointing to the desire by most passengers to take direct flights and the extra expense to airlines of flying just one stop. “It has never worked anywhere because you never get the amount of capacity you need.”

If it turns out that there is another airline willing to jump into the Australian domestic market to replace Virgin, it still would face a plethora of regulatory requirements and the need to sew up commercial agreements on issues such as slots and gates before it can start.

It took Virgin three years of preparation to get its first two planes in the air in 2000 and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority says it takes about 12 months to issue an air operators certificate, depending on the quality of the application.

Nor is rapid growth a given: Virgin’s growth was constrained to a rate of about one aircraft a month — two in some months — as it trained cabin and flight crew and met various regulatory hurdles

Scurrah observes it took 10 years to get Virgin to the point where it had 30 per cent market share and that people overlook the fact it is incredibly difficult to start an airline from scratch, particularly against a powerful competitor such as Qantas.

“It has taken us 20 years to do it. What we would say is that beyond this, if there’s not a robust and competitive two-airline industry on the other side of this crisis, you start the clock again at day one,” he says.

Steve Creedy is a former aviation editor at The Australian who has covered the sector for 25 years.

Lookleft 11th Apr 2020 07:07

Why would you start an airline from scratch when there are airlines such as Rex who could conceivably apply for a HCAOC and operate jets with at least a 30% market share beckoning. Its interesting that the article talks about how long it took Virgin to get an AOC. Impulse actually got their HCAOC before Virgin so it can be done.

Denied Justice 11th Apr 2020 08:19

I wonder if Alliance have got more than a passing interest in a move to a larger domestic operation ?

Paragraph377 11th Apr 2020 08:30


Originally Posted by Denied Justice (Post 10746432)
I wonder if Alliance have got more than a passing interest in a move to a larger domestic operation ?

They certainly have a company structure in place, AOC, COA and accountable people. But they don’t have all the infrastructure that they need, not yet anyway. Big task and they would become an entirely new airline so to speak. Be fun to watch Scott and his battles with CASA on a larger scale. Aircraft on the NZ register, if permissible, would also be interesting. It cuts a measure of CASA out of the loop. Not completely, but partially. CAA are a better regulatory body than Carmody’s CASA clowns any day of the week. Perhaps Scomo could then trip back in CASA staff numbers finally?

There is an old saying; ‘from change comes opportunity’. I have no doubt that there will be some businesses and people out there who will eventually thrive and profit out of the current situation.






Buster Hyman 11th Apr 2020 15:15


It resulted in a $10 ticket tax that raised more than $250m for employee entitlements
When they get the basics wrong, one can safely assume the rest of it is garbage as well.

Oakape 11th Apr 2020 22:05


It resulted in a $10 ticket tax that raised more than $250m for employee entitlements
If I recall correctly, not one cent of the ticket tax went to staff entitlements. It was designed to be a guarantee of staff entitlements. Asset sales managed to cover the bulk of the entitlements (90 + %) & the take from the ticket tax went into general revenue. Something the government was very quiet about!

thec172man 12th Apr 2020 02:33

ACCC???
 

Originally Posted by Blueskymine (Post 10744401)
However Jetstar will be Australia’s second airline if it all goes belly up (Virgin). The ACCC will mandate QF split it and that’ll be that.

I have heard this line a few times, but come on, is it the ACCC's role to create competition?

The ACCC mandate is to "protect consumer rights, business rights and obligations, perform industry regulation and price monitoring and prevent illegal anti-competitive behaviour". It is not there to make sure every business has a competition, otherwise Australia would be one of the worst places to do business, could you imagine every time a competitor goes under, ACCC forcibly breaks up the remaining companies in the same sector all in the name of "competition'?

As for monopolies, well if there is a market for 2 players, there would be someone else who steps up, for all the sentiments that no one would step in the shoes of VA if they go under, maybe that just means that after this crisis, there isn't enough market for more than 1 player?

airdualbleedfault 12th Apr 2020 03:29


Forgive me, but I don't want my tax payer dollars spent on a whim of a gamble.
But you'd be happy with your "taxpayer dollars" going to 10000 centrelink cheques a fortnight? Let me take a wild guess here, you're employed somewhere in the QF group?

Paragraph377 12th Apr 2020 03:41

To bail or not to bail??
 
One of the ‘unseen’ issues with financial bailouts is that you are kicking the can further down the road. For Australia it is hundreds of billions of dollars that the Government is providing, and a lot of it is going to poorly run businesses that have failed to risk assess and plan or invest in measures that would potentially see them through times of turmoil. Virgin, sadly, is a classic example of this. Bailouts are nothing but destructive. They reward poor planing. They leave valuable assets with those who are managing them poorly, making us all poorer. Contrary to popular belief, money does not grow on trees.

When this is over the Reaper will come to collect. COVID-19 stimulus packages, money printing, collecting part of your superannuation early, extra welfare payments, wages covered by stimulus money - over $200b to date and people think that will all be forgotten?? The Reaper will ask for it all back, and with interest through a rise in GST, a rise in Government fees and charges, and that chestnut called ‘levies’. This will occur at Federal, State and Local Government levels. They will charge us for the air that we breathe and for defecating by the kilogram. The middle class was already shrinking, now it is effectively gone overnight. Now who is going to pay for the tax cuts for the rich and pay the unemployment benefits for the poor?? The pain has only just begun.....

crosscutter 12th Apr 2020 03:46

Centrelink are going to have to write 10000 cheques a fortnight regardless. The real question is how should they be distributed?

VH DSJ 12th Apr 2020 04:39


Originally Posted by Paragraph377 (Post 10747285)

When this is over the Reaper will come to collect. COVID-19 stimulus packages, money printing, collecting part of your superannuation early, extra welfare payments, wages covered by stimulus money - over $200b to date and people think that will all be forgotten?? The Reaper will ask for it all back, and with interest through a rise in GST, a rise in Government fees and charges, and that chestnut called ‘levies’. This will occur at Federal, State and Local Government levels. They will charge us for the air that we breathe and for defecating by the kilogram. The middle class was already shrinking, now it is effectively gone overnight. Now who is going to pay for the tax cuts for the rich and pay the unemployment benefits for the poor?? The pain has only just begun.....

There's your answer. Print more money! LOL. Why do they even bother to tax us when the government can print more money at will?

TACQANAVIAVEC 12th Apr 2020 05:59


Originally Posted by airdualbleedfault (Post 10747283)
But you'd be happy with your "taxpayer dollars" going to 10000 centrelink cheques a fortnight? Let me take a wild guess here, you're employed somewhere in the QF group?

When you consider both airlines would have to return as smaller versions of themselves then every dollar spend on keeping the loss making carrier alive is not only at the expense of the tax payers but also at those at the bottom of the queue at QF. So you bet any QF employee staring at their jobs been made redundant by unfair use of tax payers money would have very strong feeling about this, nothing personal just being fair.

Icarus2001 12th Apr 2020 08:15


As for monopolies, well if there is a market for 2 players, there would be someone else who steps up, for all the sentiments that no one would step in the shoes of VA if they go under, maybe that just means that after this crisis, there isn't enough market for more than 1 player?
Nature abhors a vacuum. IF and its a big IF QF/Jetstar found themselves in a monopoly position for a short while, say 6-12 months, then the federal government can with a stroke of a legislative pen price cap fares. Shortly after a foreign (or local) company would move into the vacuum left by VA, just like VB did after Ansett died. I admit they already had nine aircraft up and running at that time.


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