Virgin Is In For A Bumpy Ride

Branson's flashy airline is having a tough time Down Under

When Richard Branson announced plans for a low-cost Australian version of his high-flying Virgin Atlantic Airways last year, the news sent a chill through the local industry. It wasn't that Qantas Airways Ltd. and Ansett Australia, the titans of Australian air traffic, weren't expecting new competition; the same year, the federal government had formally relaxed industry ownership rules, for the first time allowing foreigners to own Australian carriers outright.

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