Posts Tagged ‘Sir Richard Branson’


[BBC NewsVirgin Atlantic has unveiled details of its UK domestic service, including that the operation is called Little Red.

Sir Richard promised that Little Red will have a

Sir Richard promised that Little Red will have a “rock and roll spirit” Photo: Wikipedia

t will launch on 31 March in Manchester, 5 April in Edinburgh and 9 April in Aberdeen, providing a total of 26 daily services to Heathrow airport.

Virgin won key take-off and landing slots at Heathrow after the struggling carrier Bmi was taken over by British Airways’ parent company IAG.

Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson said Little Red will go head-on with BA.

BA operates around 52 daily flights between Heathrow and Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. BA also runs services to Scotland from Gatwick and London City airports.

Virgin Atlantic hopes that Little Red, which will use Heathrow Terminal 1, will help feed traffic onto its international service operating from Terminal 3.

Sir Richard said on Friday that Little Red will “go head-to-head with BA to provide domestic flights that deliver Virgin Atlantic’s rock and roll spirit as well as real value for money.”

Read the original story at BBC News…..


BBC News
1st Mar, 2013



[BBC News] Virgin Atlantic is to begin a short-haul service between London Heathrow and Manchester from next March.

Virgin Atlantic boss Steve Ridgeway stated: "We'll put in some of the twists that people know and love"

Virgin Atlantic boss Steve Ridgeway stated: “We’ll put in some of the twists that people know and love”. Photo Wikipedia

The airline says its first foray into the UK domestic market will provide competition for British Airways.

It will also provide a regional link for passengers using its long-haul services from Heathrow, it says.

Virgin denied the move was a response to Virgin Rail being told it was losing the West Coast Mainline franchise that covers London to Manchester.

The franchise, held by Virgin since 1997, will be taken on by FirstGroup later this year, the government announced last week.

Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steve Ridgway told the BBC the move was about increasing choice for UK passengers.

“Since BMI was swallowed by BA, competition in domestic routes has disappeared,” he said.

BA-owner International Airlines Group bought BMI earlier this year.

By offering access to the international hub Heathrow, the new route was about “keeping Manchester and the North East connected with the rest of the world,” he added.

The airline says it will operate three daily flights to Manchester using Airbus A319 aircraft from 31 March 2013. Initially, Mr Ridgway said these aircraft would be leased.

Virgin says that 65% of people who fly from Manchester to London then connect on to another long-haul flight, and they want a share of that market.

Fuel prices

Manchester Airports Group said Virgin was already a strong carrier at the airport with long-haul routes to Barbados, Orlando and Las Vegas.

“We aim to support our airlines as they look to grow and we hope the success of Virgin’s domestic services will lead to further expansion at Manchester,” said Ken O’Toole, chief commercial officer at Manchester Airports Group (MAG).

Virgin Atlantic was founded by Sir Richard Branson, and is 49% owned by Singapore Airlines.

Earlier this month it reported an annual loss because of higher fuel prices.

The carrier made a loss of £80m in the 12 months to the end of February, compared with a profit of £18.5m a year earlier.

BA said in a statement that it was “confident that our excellent customer service and great value fares will continue to set the standard in UK short-haul aviation”.

See the original story and interview at BBC News . . . . .


BBC News
21st Aug, 2012



[Telegraph] British Airways will pay just half the £121.5m fine it initially agreed to settle the long running Office of Fair Trading investigation into price fixing. 

British Airways will pay just half the £121.5m fine it initially agreed to settle the long running Office of Fair Trading investigation into price fixing.

British Airways will pay just half the £121.5m fine it initially agreed to settle the long running Office of Fair Trading investigation into price fixing

The reduced £58.5m fine comes after protracted negotiations between the airline and the OFT over allegations it colluded in price-fixing with Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson’s airline escaped punishment after blowing the whistle on the activity.

The reduced fine comes two years after a criminal case brought by theOFT against four former and current British Airways executives collapsed. It also follows a number of cases at the Competition Appeal Tribunal dramatically reduced fines handed by the OFT on separate cases.

Sources close to the OFT said the decision to reduce the fine from the figure agreed with BA in 2007 is a reflection of decisions taken by CAT and changed economic environment.

Ali Nikpay, OFT senior director of cartels and criminal enforcement, said: “The size of the fine underlines that it is important for companies to take steps to ensure that they have an effective compliance culture. The fine would have been higher still but for the co-operation provided by BA throughout the OFT’s investigation.

Without this, together with BA’s admission of the infringement, the case would have taken considerably longer to resolve.”

In 2007 British Airways was fined $300m (£187.4m) by the US Department of Justice over price-fixing of fuel surcharges with Virgin Atlantic between 2004 and 2006……

Read the full Telegraph story here….


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19 Apr 2012