Results are in for Australasia’s three major airline groups. They reveal it’s much better to be operating in a virtual monopoly rather than being locked into a brutal, no-holds-barred capacity war. Why? Well, Air New Zealand just made an astonishingly good  net profit of NZD182 million.

But over the ditch, times are tough. The Qantas Group, including Jetstar, eked out a net profit of just AUD6 million while bitter rival Virgin Australia bled red ink with a AUD98 million post-tax loss.

The Aussie carriers have been their own worst enemies, relentlessly increasing aircraft fleet numbers despite flat demand over the past couple of years, while Virgin has been spending big on reinventing the airline.

Ergo, airfares have fallen and so have profits.

It’s also clear that Virgin also has other issues.

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