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Sunday 19th of May 2013
Virgin Blue joins IATA
Virgin Blue has been accepted as a member of the International Air Transport Association, the most powerful airline body in the world. Membership will allow Virgin to further enhance its brand and its international operations. Becoming a member requires an airline to pass IATA’s Operational Safety Audit and offers access to a number of services which can help maximise efficiency, improve cash flow and contain costs.
Virgin will now be able to take advantage of IATA’s traffic agreement which means members can accept each other’s tickets. The carrier will also be able to make its voice heard when IATA lobbies international bodies and governments over key issues including the environment, cost efficiency, taxation, security and safety.
A Virgin Blue spokeswoman said the airline was extremely pleased to have been accepted as a member of IATA and looked forward to the benefits of that membership. She added that the financial benefits would become more apparent as the airline expanded international operations and broadened distribution channels.
It is understood that John Borghetti, Virgin Blue’s chief executive, talked to IATA boss Giovanni Bisignani about membership at the end of last year when he was visiting Sydney. Virgin has not sought membership previously because of its budget airline status.
However, with Mr Borghetti’s plans to grab a larger chunk of the corporate market and form international alliances with Etihad in the Middle East and Delta in the US it was a logical step to join IATA. Virgin’s international arm V Australia has also been accepted into the association.
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