Virgin shut out of Canberra, Tassie terminals

Virgin Blue said it would not cancel any flights despite being shut out of the Ansett terminals in Canberra and Launceston.

Virgin says it will call out extra staff to prepare for manual boarding and baggage-handling processes at both airports to ensure delays to passengers are minimised.

Ansett's action came on the eve of Virgin's first flight between Canberra and Melbourne and the addition of a second daily service between Launceston and Melbourne. The Federal Government has criticised the decision and called on the Ansett administrators to reverse the action. Canberra Airport has threatened to seize control of the terminal space if Virgin is not let back in.

Virgin accused Ansett of stifling competition. CEO Brett Godfrey said: “Since these facilities are virtually unutilised, this clearly reflects a policy that is solely focused on damaging people's travel plans at the last moment.”