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Virgin Australia hits out at Qantas after big first-half loss

Published on Feb 28, 2014 9:36 AM
Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti (left) and chief financial officer Sankar Narayan (right) speak during a press conference in Sydney on Feb 28, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian carrier Virgin urged the government not to bail out rival Qantas on Friday after slumping to a first-half loss of A$83.7 million (S$95 million), blaming intense competition and economic uncertainties.

The results followed Qantas announcement on Thursday that it recorded a A$235 million loss over the same six month period to December 31. In response, Qantas will axe 5,000 jobs and defer aircraft deliveries.

There was no similar drastic action by Virgin Australia, the country's second-biggest airline, despite a significant hit to its bottom line after a A$23 million profit in the same period last year.

Qantas is lobbying the government to provide a guarantee on its debt borrowings to help it survive, but Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti said this should not happen.

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