Virgin Blue’s AGM sent a clear peace message to Qantas yesterday, a declaration that it’s time to settle back and enjoy the duopoly. But VB chairman Chris Corrigan’s own message to shareholders about the governance of the company was totally confusing.

Corrigan didn’t vote Patrick Corp’s 62.4% shareholding on a motion to increase both the number of directors and a 33% rise in their fees. As chairman, he obviously was in charge of putting the motion that was waved through on proxies – but then bagged both the motion and his board to the Daily Telegraph afterwards.

“We are not really of the view that we need additional directors,” Virgin chairman Chris Corrigan said later.

“We actually would regard the Virgin directors to be independent but they are the ones who proposed additional independent directors and they apparently voted against their own proposal so it is very odd.”

Well he’s right about that. The Virgin Blue board is indeed very odd – with Corrigan’s behaviour as odd as any.

Meanwhile the Oz‘s Steve Creedy gives the best indication of where the domestic aviation duopoly is going by highlighting Corrigan’s pledge to give shareholders a very high dividend rate of at least 80% of net profit. In an industry as notoriously capital intensive and volatile as aviation, that is an extraordinary undertaking. The hint of how it might be possible is here:

Virgin Blue chief executive Brett Godfrey said yesterday that after three years of rapid growth and declining yields, market capacity was now more closely aligned with demand.

That means the capacity building war is over and, by implication, so is the market share war. Oh there will still be on-going battles over a percentage point or two, but it’s not war. The offer is there for Qantas and VB to settle in for the same sort of competition Australia’s big banks offer consumers – plenty of marketing and noise but nothing that might rock the strong bottom line profit growth.

PS Dick Branson meanwhile has landed a good name to chair his Virgin America start-up – former American Airlines CEO Don Carty – according to Fortune.