Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Singapore Airlines Lifts Stake in Virgin Australia as First Virgin Coloured Skywest Fokker 50 VH-FNA Rolls Out in New Colours

Information sourced from:  Australian Aviation

Singapore Airlines is set to become the second largest shareholder in Virgin Australia following its announcement last week of plans to acquire another 9.9% of Australia’s second largest airline grouping, taking its total holding to 19.9%, just shy of Air New Zealand’s 19.99%.

Singapore Airlines will purchase the 255.5 million Virgin Australia shares for $122.6 million from Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. Following completion of the sale, which requires Australian Foreign Investment Review Board approval, Virgin Group’s holding in Virgin Australia will fall to about 17%.

Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong believes the Singapore Airlines partnership with Virgin Australia is going from strength to strength and offering a wide range of consumer benefits.  He said that “Increasing our stake in Virgin Australia is another example of Singapore Airlines’ deep commitment to the important Australian market. It also demonstrates our support for the ongoing transformation of Virgin Australia, which has created a more competitive aviation market in Australia.

Singapore Airlines acquired its first 10% of Virgin Australia in late 2012 under a complex arrangement that has seen Virgin Australia move to take a controlling 60% share in Tiger Airways Australia.

The third key airline investor in Virgin Australia is Etihad Airways (9%), meaning major airlines will soon control just under 50% of the airline.

Meanwhile, regular contributor to the CQ Plane Spotting Blog, and Townsville plane spotter, Dave, has captured some lovely images of the first Skywest Fokker 50 to be repainted in Virgin Australia colours at Townsville Airport last week.

Photo taken by Dave  © 

The Fokker 50 - VH-FNA - was captured by Dave as it was being prepared for its delivery flight to Perth via Alice Springs.  Virgin Australia’s takeover of Skywest officially took effect on Thursday 11 April.

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