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‘This is not Ansett’: Hope held for Virgin Australia, despite administration announcement

The federal government says it’s “not the end” of Virgin Australia, despite news the airline has gone into voluntary administration due to the financial strain of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is not Ansett,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Tuesday.

“This is not the end of the airline.”

Mr Frydenberg said it was an “opportunity” for the aviation sector.

“But the government was not going to bail out five large foreign shareholders, with deep pockets, who together own 90 per cent of the airline,” he said.

Neil Mitchell said he believed the government had made the right call to knock back the request for a $1.4 billion financial lifeline, despite thousands of jobs being at stake.

“I think the government was right to not put money into it,” the 3AW Mornings host said.

Aviation editor Geoff Thomas, who also runs the airline safety website Airline Ratings, said Virgin had a loyal customer base and presented another investor with a big opportunity.

“It is actually an efficient airline – it is nothing like Ansett,” he said.

“They win award, after award.”

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