Virgin Australia was so incensed Queensland’s government backflipped on deregulating a route that it threatened to review its investment in the state.
Virgin Australia has no plans to pull out of Queensland, but wants much more competition on regional air routes.
Virgin is frustrated by the Queensland government’s decision not to deregulate the Brisbane-Roma-Charleville route, which is popular with fly-in, fly-out workers.
The Liberal National Party government took into account the concerns of local MP Howard Hobbs, who says deregulation will lead to less services to and from Charleville.
The government told AAP that services on the route are currently up for tender and any airline is welcome to bid for them.
But Virgin says the government can easily allow competition on the route and protect the Charleville leg at the same time.
“There are numerous options to safeguard, and indeed boost, air links between Roma and Charleville,” a company spokesperson told AAP.
Despite earlier reports, the airline said it had no plans to pull out of the state as reported by some media.
But Virgin said more competition was vital for flyers.
“Virgin Australia has no current plans to change its investment in Queensland,” the spokesperson said.
“However, we are focused on bringing strong competition to all areas of the market and will continue to direct our investment to states that allow us to bring these benefits to consumers.”