Virgin Australia pilots support the Cyrus Capital Partners, bid to fly the airline out of administration.
While the Association for Virgin Australia Group Pilots (VIPA) has told the Australian Financial Review that it is too “soon to deliver a definite verdict on either proposal given final offers had yet to be submitted,” a significant number of VA pilots have contacted AirlineRatigs.com to express their support for the Cyrus Capital Partners’ rescue.
The AFR has reported that the “Flight Attendants Association of Australia, representing cabin crew making up one-third of Virgin’s 9000 staff, expressed its total support for Cyrus, with the union’s secretary Teri O’Toole saying a relative lack of aviation experience at the airline’s other suitor Bain Capital counted against it.”
The AFR also canvassed the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association, and ALAEA federal secretary Steve Purvinas was quoted as “unequivocally behind Cyrus.”
“I sense a passion from Cyrus about the Virgin brand and a long-term commitment for the airline,” Mr. Purvinas told the AFR. “Cyrus knows the product better to a point where I’m confident their ownership would be the best thing for Virgin.”
These endorsements are a major blow to the other bidder Bain Capital which wants to take the airline further down market.
Ms. O’Toole also told the AFR there was “an apparent understanding of the company’s staff culture at Cyrus.”
“They speak passionately about Virgin. That is going to help them with the employee group – they will rally behind Cyrus,” she said. “They understand the Virgin culture better than Bain.”
The bidders will lodge their final and binding bids Monday, June 22nd with the administrators Deloitte making a selection by the end of the month.