Virgin Australia has threatened to stop offering flights to Queensland, following a Queensland State government backflip which has ensured Qantas has a monopoly on the fly-in, fly-out mining flights.
Documents that were obtained under freedom of information laws by the Courier Mail show that the Queensland government was prepared to deregulate the Brisbane-Roma-Charleville route last January.
However, the government has now said that QantasLink will maintain its monopoly on the fly-in, fly-out route without explanation to Virgin Australia.
Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti said that he was “incredulous” that the route would remain regulated and that mining workers and consumers would suffer as a result.
LNP Member for the electorate of Warrego (which covers the route), Warren Hobbs said that deregulation of the route would have meant that the number of flights to the mining town of Charleville would have been cut because the Brisbane-Roma route is more profitable.