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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Virgin Bid Backed

CANBERRA, Australia -- Australian political leaders Monday sided with British entrepreneur Richard Branson and his bold plan to challenge the nation's two airlines, a move which sent Qantas shares plummeting.

Branson, chairman of the diverse Virgin Group in London, said the conservative government was keen to lower domestic airfares now imposed by Qantas Airways and Ansett Australia.

"We've had nothing but support from the government," Branson said. "They've said they want competition, they want lower fares, and they want the duopoly to be broken."