Virgin Australia will remain the national carrier of Queensland after Queensland fended off attempts from other states to attract the airline.
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick confirmed today that Bain Capital had been selected by administrator Deloittes as the preferred bidder for the airline, pending a final agreement with creditors in August.
The Treasurer said he was delighted that Virgin Airlines would continue as Australia’s second national carrier, with its headquarters to remain in Queensland.
“Keeping Queensland jobs in Queensland as we deal with the economic fallout of the global coronavirus pandemic is very important,” the Treasurer said.
“We’re managing the health response and now we can start delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“Part of our plan, Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs, is about supporting traditional industries like tourism.
“Importantly, Queenslanders will now also own a strategic equity stake in the airline.
“Queensland is the home of aviation in Australia, and we are thrilled that our investment, a mix of equity and economic incentives, has helped to secure that into the future.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s investment, facilitated by Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), will ensure that Virgin’s headquarters remain in Brisbane, retaining thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
“We have always said a second national airline is critical for Australia, for jobs, for tourism, domestic travel and freight.
“We will always back Queensland jobs, and we will always act in the best interests of Queenslanders.
“If the investment did not stack up, we would not have proceeded, but through QIC, we have landed a solid, commercially astute deal, that will benefit Queensland.
“As we unite and recover from COVID-19, this is a deal that will secure hundreds of jobs and livelihoods throughout Queensland.
QIC’s Damien Frawley said its State Investments team had applied a disciplined commercial lens in assessing the State’s investment, in alignment with its broader economic goals for Queensland.
“We are well-equipped to manage the State’s interest with a track record as an acquirer, owner and manager of nationally significant assets for both governments and long-term investors,” he said.
“Our task was to secure a sound commercial outcome for Queensland, and this deal represents a solid investment in a new-look Virgin Airlines.”
The Treasurer thanked QIC, administrator Deloittes and congratulated Bain Capital on being the preferred bidder.
“We look forward to working with Bain Capital on behalf of all Queenslanders.”