Virgin Australia owner prepares for listing on aviation market recovery

US private equity house Bain Capital is examining potentially relisting Virgin Australia following the recovery of the domestic aviation market.

“In the coming months we will consider how to best position Virgin Australia for continued growth and long term prosperity,” said Mike Murphy, a Sydney-based Bain Capital partner, who confirmed the business would likely retain a significant shareholding in any future IPO.

Restrictions on Australia’s domestic travel along and barring international travel had a devastating impact with Australian flag carrier Qantas admitting that it was close to bankruptcy at the height of the pandemic.

The full reopening last year has triggered a strong rebound in both domestic and international travel with the airline commanding a market share of over 30 per cent, up from the 20 per cent when it collapsed in 2020. Despite recording operating losses of A$400mn (US$279mn) in June, it expects to return to profit this year. “The business is in great shape,” said Murphy who declined to specify if and when a return to the Australian Securities Exchange would happen.

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