Aviation

Qantas, Flight Centre mooted as acquisition targets for Wesfarmers

While the uncertain future of Virgin Australia has stolen most of the spotlight amid the COVID-19 crisis, speculation surrounding its fierce rival is now heating up.

Yes, Qantas is being mooted as an acquisition target for the recently cashed-up Wesfarmers, with the conglomerate recently coming into the possession of a very large sum of money – $1.06 billion to be exact – after offloading 5.2 per cent of its stake in Coles Group.

The move has prompted one investment bank to compile a list of potential acquisition targets should Wesfarmers decided to splash some of its newly acquired cash.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the equity strategy team at Macquarie named Qantas among 37 other companies that met the acquisition criteria for Wesfarmers. Other companies on Macquarie’s list include Flight Centre, Ardent Leisure and Crown Resorts.

Wesfarmers CEO Rob Scott told the SMH the company was looking at acquisition opportunities and had already been contacted by some struggling businesses.

Travel Weekly has approached Qantas and Wesfarmers for comment, while a Flight Centre spokesperson said it had not been in contact with the WA-based giant.

This new round of speculation comes as Virgin continues to hold out hope for a federal government bailout, with Australia’s second-largest carrier warning of an unwanted monopoly situation for the local aviation sector if it were to collapse.

Virgin is currently seeking a $1.4 billion lifeline from the government on top of what is already being promised for airlines in Australia.

However, despite the government’s desire for two competitive airlines, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has said the struggling carrier will not get any special treatment, according to The Australian.

Virgin has also been battling speculation that another player such as Irish budget carrier Ryanair could easily replace the airline if it were to fold. However, CEO Paul Scurrah has rubbished claims that a new entrant could successfully fill the void.

“Given that most airports are private now and they’ve got owners now, they’re not going to be patient for someone else to make up their mind whether they come or not,” he told The Australian Financial Review.

“They are just going to sell those assets to Qantas.

“If as speculated Ryanair were to come in, you can look forward to 20 years of a business and corporate monopoly.”

Featured image credit: iStock.com/oversnap

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

New airline set to take off in June

Yes, you read correctly. A new airline is set to launch its first flight next month amid the most hostile commercial aviation environment in the industry’s history.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Flight Centre to host new webcast, win a holiday to New Zealand + MORE

This week’s Agent Wrap is best accompanied by a mid-range bottle of red and a big, greasy pizza. Well, at least that’s what Travel Weekly’s journo was accompanied by while writing this.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Airbnb sees huge spike in domestic travel bookings

Looks like Aussies have begun to get itchy feet in self-isolation. Let’s hope hotels are seeing a similar surge.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Samoan resort focuses on staff smiles during stand-still

Travel restrictions have put a halt to this Samoan resort’s ability to welcome guests, so it has chosen to focus on its staff instead.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Visit USA memberships are now half-price!

Do you love the smell of a great bargain in the morning? Get a whiff of this discounted membership deal courtesy of Visit USA.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

WATCH: Celebrity Cruises celebrates 30 years

Keen to celebrate the cruise line’s 30th birthday? Travel Weekly recommends watching this fitting video tribute while chowing down on some party pies or fairy bread.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Aleta Hunt joins Livn as head of partnerships

Livn’s hunt is over for its head of partnerships. See what we did there? Yeah, we know our jokes are pretty corny, but that doesn’t stop us from cracking them!

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Rydges employee tests positive for COVID-19, Fullerton ups its cleaning measures + MORE

We’re taking you around the world in five minutes with this week’s Hotel Wrap, or 10 minutes if you’re a slow reader.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Wondering when international travel will restart? This new chart could hold the answer

The timeline for international travel’s restart has just become a whole lot clearer, thanks to a new chart detailing Australia’s plans.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism New Zealand unveils ‘Pure Promise’ to the world, as Aussie GM talks up the bubble

by Christian Fleetwood

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly’s reporter has made a pure promise of his own: to only drink water, cow’s milk and straight vodka during lockdown.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Flight awkwardly turns around after discovering airport was closed

In an embarrassing mix-up, a passenger plane scheduled to land in Sardinia was forced to head back to Germany after discovering there was nowhere to land.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Company behind well-known UK coach holiday brands collapses

by Huntley Mitchell

The parent company of two well-known UK coach holiday operators has gone into administration, resulting in tens of thousands of customers’ trips being cancelled and more than 2,500 job losses.

Share

CommentComments