June 8 (Reuters) – Budget airline Virgin Blue (VBA.AX) expects its market environment to remain tough throughout the year, posing a challenge for the carrier, Chief Executive John Borghetti said on Tuesday.
“This side of Christmas, it is still going to be tough,” he said, saying the economy was still very fragile and business travel generally slows down around a federal elections.
Virgin Blue slashed its guidance May 28 on rapidly falling demand and a sudden decline in consumer confidence, sending its shares down by a quarter and highlighting the industry’s fragility.
Virgin Blue is Australia’s second-biggest airline after Qantas (QAN.AX) with a domestic market share of close to a third. (Reporting by Victoria Thieberger; editing by Balazs Koranyi)