Virgin Australia CEO in departure lounge?

October 14, 2020
Virgin australia
Virgin boss Paul Scurrah

Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah is reported to be in the departure lounge according to industry sources in Brisbane as the airline tries to defend serving an 80 cent tub of noodles to a $2500 business class passenger.

The news comes as analysts suggest that Bain Capital will take the airline further down market than expected and former Jetstar boss Jayne Hrdlicka will take over as chief executive.

Yesterday Virgin Australia was lashed on social media over the savage in-flight service cutbacks that see business class passengers being served up two-minute noodles.

It is understood that Mr Scurrah’s vision for the new Virgin Australia is at odds with that of new owners Bain Capital, which appears to now want to take the airline into the budget arena.

Ms Hrdlicka, also a former Bain executive recently relocated to Brisbane sparking speculation that she would take over from Mr Scurrah.

Bain Capital was contacted for comment but did not respond.

The US-based funder is due to conclude the A$3.50 billion Virgin Australia acquisition on October 31.

In a possible potent of what is to come Virgin Australia was yesterday forced to defend its refreshment packages after stinging criticism from business class passengers.

The airline is also out of wine and diet cola, with passengers resorting to bringing their own snacks on board as Bain wields a machete on costs.

In response to the barrage of criticism, some cabin crew are now taking days off because they are sick of the abuse.

And a staff memo also warns that even those meagre stocks are almost exhausted.

“There is limited snacks in the supply chain … and stock will be exhausted in the coming weeks,” the memo said.

It adds that wine will not be replenished.

The snacks offered are the two-minute noodles or a granola bar for business class passengers and a granola bar for economy — but only if they ask for it.

A Virgin spokesperson said the airline was taking measures to protect its passengers — including offering a limit onboard service — by minimising the risks associated with COVID.

But the spokesperson added that “as travel demand begins to increase we are exploring the possibilities for our onboard business class offering, whilst continuing to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew.

Qantas returned to an almost full service last month and will likely corner the business class market, especially on transcontinental flights to and from Perth