Virgin Australia eyes India and China markets via SIA

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Virgin Australia's new alliance with Singapore Airlines will open up the potentially lucrative Indian and Chinese markets to the carrier, its CEO John Borghetti told Airline Business at the IATA AGM.

"We want more of the international market and today's announcement is part of that. And this really gives us access to both China and India through SIA, which has strong connections and frequencies to both countries" he added.

There is growing demand for travel from India and China to Australia for both leisure and business passengers, and Borghetti says that the alliance will tap into that.

"If we look at the link between China, Australia and the mining industry, it makes a lot of sense. China is deeply involved in the Australian mining industry, and many mining companies have their offices in Singapore. Flying to China or India yourself is always going to be difficult, but this gives us a great link."

The aim of the alliance will be go grow international market share, he added. "You would expect that - we would not be doing the alliances if we did not want that. This benefits the consumer and we bring more competitive markets."

So while there are no immediate plans to make changes to Virgin Australia's international route network, Borghetti said that this will be reconsidered as both demand and market share grows.

"The beauty of these alliances is that you build up traffic and let demand increase. And when there is requirement for additional capacity or frequency, we can look into that," he added.