Virgin Blue continues to chip away at the down-under market share of big boy Qantas. In three years, the airline has picked up 30 percent of the Australian market, and a 50-percent goal is within reach.
Oddly enough, that success has been achieved in the absence of a frequent flyer program.
CEO Brett Godfrey is just not convinced, the Australian press has reported. He envisions a potential $30-million annual loss were such a program to be implemented. On the flip side, of course, he acknowledges that a successful program might earn the airline upward of $80 million a year.
Sir Richard Branson, head of parent company Virgin, has already told the press that he would like to see a program implemented for Virgin Blue. Godfrey disagrees.
“It’s probably the only thing we’ve ever disagreed on,” Godfrey told the Australian press. “I’m not convinced that it’s right. We have tremendous support and loyalty from frequent flyers. People fly us because of price … they fly on us because they like us and we’re on time.”
Godfrey said the company’s board would be considering the issue.
“I’m not in discord with Richard. I’m just at a point where I’m saying we still have some work to do before we actually determine it,” he said.