VIRGIN LANDS TIGER DEAL

VIRGIN LANDS TIGER DEAL

VIRGIN Australia (ASX:VAH) has finally taken control of Tiger Airways Australia after its 60 per cent acquisition of the airline completed today.

The VAH-Singapore Airlines joint venture is free to begin its assault on rival Qantas, with Tiger set to go head-to-head in the budget space against Jetstar.

The ambitious plan to take on Qantas was announced on October 30 last year and also included the purchase of Western Australia airline Skywest, which has passed all regulatory hurdles.

Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti (pictured) says the recently rebranded Tigerair will grow quickly under the new ownership arrangement.

The partners will invest up to $62.5 million in the the low-cost Australian carrier and plan to grow the fleet from 11 aircraft to 35 by 2018.

“We are very pleased to partner with Tigerair in Tigerair Australia and we look forward to working together to expedite its growth,” says Borghetti.

Tigerair Australia Chief Executive Officer Rob Sharp says the deal will increase competition Australian skies.

“We are now well placed to build on the foundations of Tigerair Australia, ensuring it has the right scale to compete effectively,” he says.

“Our aim is for Tigerair Australia to become a sustainable and respected budget carrier in Australia”.

Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti will be appointed as Chairman of Tigerair Australia and Wendy Cheah will be appointed as Chief Financial Officer.

David Baxby and Sankar Narayan are Virgin Australia’s two other board nominees, while Tigerair has nominated Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay, Koay Peng Yen. Maurice Newman is the independent director.

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