Virgin Australia has used Qantas' announcement that its axing inflight music on domestic flights to reaffirm its support for the Australian music industry. 

While Qantas say the decision was made after a comprehensive review showed "on average less than ten percent of customers per flight were tuning into the radio and music channels", Virgin say they are committed to offering a platform "for new and emerging artists".

A statement given to The Music by the airline reads, "We support bands and artists across our network by:

  • offering an artist/band the opportunity to host a two-hour feature playlist onboard every month, demonstrating our commitment to giving new talent the opportunity to expand their audience reach! Artists who have recorded the feature playlist in the past include: Vance Joy, Jimmy Barnes, Garbage, Diesel, Troy Casser-Daley and The Rubens just to name a few;
  • being the only Australian airline to offer individual artists 64 kilograms of checked baggage when artists are travelling domestically;
  • featuring the NIDA and Triple J Unearthed Music Video Competition winners onboard since 2014;
  • being a major sponsor of Australia’s leading new music festival, BIGSOUND, and featuring a highlights video onboard in the lead up to each year’s festival; and
  • offering our guests a vast array of curated music playlists that appeal to all types of musical tastes.

"In addition to this, we have also been shortlisted for the Best Original Audio Award for ‘The Voices of Australia’ collection of hosted playlists at the 2019 Airline Passenger Experience Awards. We are proud to be the Australian airline of choice for the Australian music industry and we will continue to find ways to ensure that Australian music is an integral part of our inflight entertainment services."

It comes after APRA Chief Executive, Dean Ormston, said Qantas' move would be a blow to Australian musicians and fans.

"In their role as the national carrier, Qantas have the opportunity to literally carry Australian stories in Australian voices to the world via their customers, and tell those stories to music loving Aussies as wel," Ormston said.

"Australia is a music nation, and our year on year revenue stats show there is an increasing appetite for local music both here and abroad."