The Australian reports that Virgin Australia is in talks to merge with Air New Zealand and is also considering buying out Rex Airlines.
Neither Air New Zealand nor Virgin Australia has commented on the claim in The Australian, although Air New Zealand has issued a statement denying any negotiations.
“Air New Zealand confirms that it has not been approached and is not in talks with any parties contemplating a prospective merger deal,” Chair Therese Walsh said.
The story states that Virgin has been approached by financial firms Goldman Sachs and Jarden for aid with merger talks. The strategy reportedly involves “a back door dual listing” on the Australian and New Zealand Stock Exchange.
It is speculated that a dual listing in Australia and New Zealand would be implemented through a back door if a deal with Air NZ were to go through.
Looking back a few years, one might remember Virgin Australia was formerly a publicly listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange. Initial public offering (IPO) rumours suggest it might happen as soon as next year.
According to sources, Virgin Australia is considering buying Rex if it switches back to focusing on regional routes.
Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka was recently asked at a CAPA summit in Adelaide if the airline would consider increasing its focus on servicing regional routes and resuming flying turboprop planes. She responded that VA was open to improving its regional services so long as it maintained an overall simplicity in its business model.