Sir Richard Branson's Virgin group of airlines, known for its tight-fisted ways, may have hit a new high (or low) for frugality, buying the struggling carrier Tigerair Australia for just $1. The deal, in which Virgin acquires the 40 percent of the company it didn't already own, is expected to give Virgin Australia more heft to take on Australian flag-carrier Qantas. Virgin will now consider deploying Tigerair Australia on short-haul international routes to such destinations as Bali, Fiji and New Zealand. Virgin executives said they expect to return loss-making Tigerair to profitability by the end of 2016. The dollar spent to take control of the carrier was Australian, making the price about 88 cents in United States currency.
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