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Expect All Talk And No Action With Virgin Blue

25 November 2001

The public will have little faith in the Government having meaningful talks with discount airline, Virgin Blue.

That's the view of National Associate Finance spokesperson, David Carter, regarding tomorrow's planned meeting between Virgin Blue and Transport Minister, Mark Gosche.

"Everyone knows that Gosche is the Minister of no decisions and this will just be another pointless meeting for all concerned," says Mr Carter.

"It's crucial for there to be healthy competition in our skies. However, since taking a controlling interest in Air New Zealand, there is no sign that the Government shares this view. It seems obvious that as the major shareholder, the Government won't be holding fruitful discussions with Virgin Blue when that airline wants to be in direct competition with Air New Zealand.

"Daily, I'm getting complaints that show travellers are not getting the service that follows on from robust competition. Queues at understaffed check-in counters and rising airfares are all indicators that competition has gone from domestic air travel.

"This is a stark reminder of the growing arrogance of this Government towards ordinary New Zealanders. It thinks it knows what is best, even down to what airline we should use in our own country," says Mr Carter.

Ends


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