The frontrunner to buy ­Virgin Australia has given its strongest indication yet that if it wins the bidding race, Queensland will benefit most.
The frontrunner to buy ­Virgin Australia has given its strongest indication yet that if it wins the bidding race, Queensland will benefit most.

Lead Virgin bidder’s jobs pledge

THE frontrunner to buy ­Virgin Australia and make ''flying fun again'' has pledged an allegiance to Queensland despite New South Wales and Victoria lobbying hard to lure the airline south.

Virgin Australia is set to have a new owner within days, with final two bidders - Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital - facing off for victory.

Bain Capital has given its strongest indication yet that if it wins the bidding race, the low-cost and revamped airline and hundreds of jobs will remain in Queensland.

The hint comes as Queensland Investment Corporation - doing its bidding on behalf of the State Government - insists that it remains in the game.

A spokesman for QIC, which has kept a low profile for the past month, said that it was continuing talks with both bidders about providing cash to keep the airline flying and hundreds of jobs in this state.

Virgin Australia is set to have a new owner within days, and the lead bidder has pledged an allegiance to Queensland. (AAP Image/Darren England)
Virgin Australia is set to have a new owner within days, and the lead bidder has pledged an allegiance to Queensland. (AAP Image/Darren England)

Bain Capital managing director Mike Murphy acknowledged that the revamped airline would be important to the Sunshine State.

"We understand and place a lot of value in the significant talent that is in the local ­Virgin team," he said.

"The bar to move from Brisbane would be very high."

Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson (inset) said the state's lucrative offer 20 years ago to base the carrier in Brisbane should be honoured.

Virgin will add 30,000 seats to its network from next month as the carrier dusts off its planes and returns to the skies.

Customers can also again use unfrozen Velocity Points to buy seats.

business p49

Originally published as Lead Virgin bidder's Queensland jobs pledge



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