Virgin renews five-year deal with the AFL
Virgin Australia is again the official airline sponsor of the AFL, after beating their rival Qantas to secure a five-year deal with the AFL.
Chief executive of the AFL, Gillon McLachlan, signed the new deal with the airline on Thursday afternoon at Melbourne Airport.
The deal includes the AFLW competition for the first time.
As part of the package, players and officials will again receive extra baggage allowances and access to the lounge.
The agreement also allows Virgin Australia to continue bundling flight and ticket packages for fans to travel to games across the country.
The announcement comes at a time when flights across the continent are at a premium with preliminary finals being played in both Perth and Melbourne in the coming days.
Some fans have been forced to pay upwards of $1500 one-way to fly to watch their team play.
Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti defended his airline’s fares, saying: “We have to understand its peak period for travel, and it’s not just peak period for travel for the AFL but it’s also school holidays next week.
“People also forget that when you put on extra flights because they are additional flights they’re inevitably empty on the way over, so there’s a lot of fuel to be burned etc.
“Having said all that, we still try and maintain fares as low as possible.
“But it’s in every industry, I mean in your industry, I don’t know what paper you’re from, I’m sure that advertising space in the media is more expensive during peak times than it is in off-peak times.”
This is the third time an agreement between Virgin Australia and the AFL has been signed, since winning the contract from Qantas in 2010.