The Virgin Australia engineers’ union says that Cyrus Capital Partners has the right stuff for the Virgin Australia rescue.
Final bids from Cyrus and Bain Capital are due Monday, June 22nd with the Virgin Australia administrators Deloitte saying they want to make a decision by June 30.
Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association federal secretary Steve Purvinas told AirlineRatings.com that the union was “unequivocally behind Cyrus.”
“There is a real passion at Cyrus and we have had numerous discussions but I have not heard a word from Bain,” claimed Mr. Purvinas.
“Cyrus have sought our advice and talks have been very constructive and we have concessions in mind.”
Mr. Purvinas, one of the industry’s most passionate and powerful leaders, voiced his concern about the Bain bid.
“Bain doesn’t appear to have the same aviation operational understanding as Cyrus.”
“I don’t like what they are saying or doing, they have no experience in aviation and their methods are more aligned with Qantas.”
“But I sense a passion from Cyrus about the Virgin brand and a long-term commitment for the airline and it knows the product better to a point where I’m confident their ownership would be the best thing for Virgin.”
All the Virgin unions, or their members, appear to behind the Cyrus bid which appears to promise a larger airline and a model closer to current Virgin Australia.
Mr. Purvians concedes there will be some job losses but fewer with Cyrus.
Of course, all unions are cognisant of the COVID-19 pandemic and the savage impact that has had on aviation.
It is certain that the VA fleet will be scaled back in numbers and types with the big survivor being the 737.
It is likely the A330s will go back to the lessors while the 777-300ERs could be traded to Boeing for a new fleet of 787s for international routes.
The 777-300ERs would make an ideal freighter conversion – the one part of the industry actually making money.
Mr. Purvinas notes that the USA – a major platform in the VA international network – will probably be off-limits for some time which will pose some problems for the airline’s “international” revival.