Virgin Atlantic

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Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited
Virgin Atlantic Airways Logo.png
IATA
VS
ICAO
VIR
Callsign
VIRGIN
Founded 1984
Commenced operations 22 June 1984
AOC # 534
Operating bases
Frequent-flyer program Flying Club
Airport lounge Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse
Fleet size 38
Destinations 31
Parent company Virgin Group
Headquarters Crawley, United Kingdom
Key people
  • Craig Kreeger (CEO)[2]
  • Stephen Murphy (Chairman)[3]
Revenue Increase £2.90 billion (2013)[4]
Operating income Decrease £-128.4 million (2013)[4]
Website virgin-atlantic.com

Virgin Atlantic, a trading name of Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited, is a British airline with its head office in Crawley, West Sussex, England. The airline was established in 1984 as British Atlantic Airways, and was originally planned by its co-founders Randolph Fields and Alan Hellary to fly between London and the Falkland Islands. Soon after changing the name to Virgin Atlantic Airways, Fields sold his shares in the company after disagreements with Richard Branson over the management of the company. The maiden flight from Gatwick to Newark Liberty International Airport took place on 22 June 1984. The airline along with Virgin Holidays is controlled by a holding company Virgin Atlantic Limited which is owned 51% by the Virgin Group and 49% by Delta Air Lines. It is administratively separate from other Virgin-branded airlines.

Virgin Atlantic uses a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing wide-body jets and operates between the United Kingdom, North America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia from its main bases at London Heathrow and Gatwick. The airline also operates a secondary base at Manchester, as well as a seasonal base from Glasgow. The airline has operated domestic flights within the United Kingdom since 31 March 2013.

In 2012, Virgin Atlantic carried 5.4 million passengers,[5] making it the seventh-largest UK airline in terms of passenger volume. In the year to 31 December 2013, it reported a £51 millions group pre-tax loss (approximately US$87 million).[6]

Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited holds a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Type A Operating Licence, which permits it to carry passengers, cargo, and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats.[7]

History[edit]

Conception and birth[edit]

Alan Hellary, Richard Branson, and Randolph Fields launch Virgin Atlantic at the 1984 press conference

Randolph Fields, an American-born lawyer, and Alan Hellary, a former chief pilot for Laker Airways, set up British Atlantic Airways as a successor to Laker Airways.[8] Fields had the idea for an airline that operates between London and the Falkland Islands in June 1982, when the Falklands War had just finished.[9] Fields needed expertise, and contacted Alan Hellary, who had also been thinking about establishing a regular commercial service to the Falklands. Hellary was in contact with colleagues out of work following the collapse of Laker Airways, and they developed the idea.

However, the short runway at Port Stanley Airport and the time it would take to improve it made the scheme unviable, so the idea of the Falklands service was dropped. Instead, Hellary and Fields tried to secure a licence from Gatwick Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. A three-day inquiry in May 1983 rejected the application after British Airways, British Caledonian, and BAA objected.

Hellary and Fields then applied for a licence between Gatwick and Newark, using a 380-seat McDonnell Douglas DC-10.[8] However, faced with the prospect of direct competition from People Express, a post-deregulation "no frills" discount airline at Newark, they decided to secure more funding before proceeding.

Fields met Richard Branson at a party in London during which he proposed a business partnership. After protracted and testy negotiations, Fields agreed to a reduced stake of 25% in the airline (renamed Virgin Atlantic) and became its first chairman. Following disagreements over operations, Fields agreed to be bought out for an initial sum of £1 million with further payment on Virgin's first dividend. As a result of a High Court action, this additional payment was received shortly before Fields' death in 1997.

Formative years[edit]

Maiden Voyager operated the first scheduled Virgin Atlantic service on 22 June 1984.

On 22 June 1984, Virgin Atlantic operated its inaugural scheduled service between Gatwick and Newark using a leased Boeing 747-200 (registration G-VIRG), christened Maiden Voyager,[8] formerly operated by Aerolíneas Argentinas. Part of Richard Branson's approach to business is to succeed within the first year or exit the market. This includes a one-year limit on everything associated with starting up.[10] Virgin Atlantic became profitable within the first 12 months, aided by sister company Virgin Records' ability to finance the lease of a secondhand Boeing 747. The firm timed operations to take advantage of a full summer, from June to September – the most profitable period of the year.

In November 1984 the airline started a service between Gatwick Airport and Maastricht Aachen Airport in the Netherlands using a chartered BAC One-Eleven/[11]

In 1986, the airline added another Boeing 747 and started a scheduled route from Gatwick to Miami. Additional aircraft were acquired and routes launched from Gatwick to New York JFK (1988), Tokyo (1989), Los Angeles (1990), Boston (1991), and Orlando (1992). In 1987, a service was launched between Luton and Dublin using Viscount turboprop aircraft, but this was withdrawn around 1990. In 1988, Club Air operated two Boeing 727 jet aircraft on behalf of Virgin. These served the Luton to Dublin route until about 1990.

Competition[edit]

Since its inception, British Airways had been the only airline from the United Kingdom serving long-haul routes to destinations in North America, the Caribbean, and the Far East since the BA-BCal merger in the late 1980s. In 1991, Virgin was given permission to operate from Heathrow following the abolition of the London Air Traffic Distribution Rules (TDRs) which had governed the distribution of traffic between Heathrow and Gatwick airports since 1978, primarily to bolster the profitability of Gatwick. Airlines without an international scheduled service from Heathrow prior to 1 April 1977 were obliged to operate from Gatwick. However, airlines that did not already operate at Heathrow were still able to begin domestic scheduled services there provided BAA, which ran both Heathrow and Gatwick on behalf of the UK Government, and the Secretary of State for Transport granted permission.

Two Airbus A340-600 at London Heathrow Airport in 2010

According to industry insiders, Virgin Atlantic had increasing financial problems during this period. The British government wished to avoid the collapse of a significant independent airline, with Dan-Air on the brink of bankruptcy, and therefore decided to let Virgin Atlantic into Heathrow, despite opposition from British Airways. The Civil Aviation Authority also transferred two pairs of unused landing slots that British Airways held at Tokyo's Narita Airport to Virgin to let it increase its frequency between Heathrow and Tokyo from four to six weekly round trips, making it easier for Virgin to compete against British Airways. King called the CAA's decision, which the Government had endorsed, "a confiscation of his company's property".[12]

Even so, Richard Branson was forced to sell Virgin Records in 1992 to EMI to raise capital to shore up Virgin Atlantic's position. In the year to October 1993, Virgin Atlantic declared a loss of £9.3m. The decision to abolish the London TDRs and to let Virgin Atlantic operate at Heathrow in competition with British Airways became the trigger for BA's so-called "dirty tricks" campaign against Virgin. In 1993, BA's public relations director, David Burnside, published an article in BA News, British Airways' internal magazine, which argued that Branson's protests against British Airways were a publicity stunt. Branson sued British Airways for libel, using the services of George Carman QC. BA settled out of court when its lawyers discovered the lengths to which the company had gone in trying to kill off Virgin. British Airways had to pay a legal bill of up to £3 million, damages to Branson of £500,000 and a further £110,000 to his airline. Branson reportedly donated the proceeds from the case to Virgin Atlantic staff.[13]

In the 1990s, Virgin Atlantic jets were painted with "No-Way BA/AA" in opposition to the attempted merger between British Airways and American Airlines.[14] In 1997, following British Airways' announcement that it was to remove the Union Flag from its tailfins in favour of world images, Virgin introduced a Union Flag design on the winglets of its aircraft and changed the red dress on the Scarlet Lady on the nose of aircraft to the union flag with the tag line "Britain's Flag Carrier". This was a tongue-in-cheek challenge to BA's traditional role as the UK's flag carrier.[15]

In June 2006, US and UK competition authorities investigated alleged price fixing between Virgin Atlantic and British Airways over passenger fuel surcharges.[16] In August 2007, BA was fined £271 million by the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the US Department of Justice.[17] However, the Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic, Steve Ridgway, was forced to admit that the company had been a party to the agreement, had been aware of the price fixing and had taken no steps whatsoever to stop the price fixing.[18] The company escaped a similar fine to that levied on British Airways only by virtue of the immunity it had earlier negotiated with the regulators.

Later years[edit]

Airbus A340-300 at London Heathrow Airport in 2003, displaying "4 Engines 4 Longhaul" slogan

In 2003, Virgin Atlantic carried 3.8 million passengers.[19] This increased to 4.6 million in 2006, placing it seventh among UK airlines.[20] During the 2012 Summer Olympics bids, Virgin Atlantic attached London 2012 decals to the rear of many of its Boeing 747-400s.

On 31 October 2005, Virgin Atlantic operated a humanitarian aid charter flight to Islamabad, Pakistan, with 55 tonnes of aid for the people affected by the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.[21]

Boeing 747-400 after take-off

On 27 September 2006, Branson announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting aircraft weight and fuel consumption. There was also an experiment in 2007 in partnership with Boeing to have aircraft towed to the runway to save fuel, as a potential change to future operational procedures.[22] Virgin also volunteered a Boeing 747 for a test of biofuels in February 2008. The aircraft flew without passengers from Heathrow to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, with 20% of the power for one engine provided by plant-based biofuel. Virgin said that it expected to use algae-based biofuels in the future.[23]

In April 2010, a tip-off from Cathay Pacific led to the OFT investigating alleged price fixing between Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific on flights to Hong Kong between 2002 and 2006. Cathay Pacific received immunity from prosecution for reporting the alleged offence. A maximum fine, if found guilty, was 10% of turnover which based on the £2.5 billion in sales for the year to February 2009 would have been £250 million.[24] At the time, the OFT stressed that it should not be assumed that the parties involved had broken the law.[25] The OFT cleared both airlines in December 2012, concluding there were "no grounds for action".[26]

In 2012, Delta Airlines acquired the 49% stake in the holding company Virgin Atlantic Limited formerly held by Singapore Airlines. In December 2012, International Airlines Group CEO, Willie Walsh, suggested that the loss-making company would be history within five years. "I can't see Delta wanting to operate the Virgin brand because if they do what does that say about the Delta brand? I just don't see that the guy (Branson) has anything that stands out in terms of what he has achieved in the industry."[27]

In May 2014, Virgin Airlines ended flights to Sydney. In September 2014, Virgin Airlines announced plans to scrap flights to Tokyo, Mumbai, Vancouver and Cape Town and to code-share transatlantic flights with Delta Air Lines. The company was also reported to be considering axing its new 'Little Red' domestic airline after suffering heavy losses.[28] On 6 October 2014, Virgin Atlantic confirmed that Little Red services between London and Manchester would end in March 2015, with the Scottish routes closing in September 2015.[29]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Offices[edit]

The Office, the head office building of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays in Crawley, West Sussex

Virgin Atlantic's head office, known as The Office, is located on a business park in Crawley, West Sussex, England, near Gatwick Airport[30] and also houses the corporate offices of Virgin Holidays.[31] The company operates several offices and call centres around the world, with a large office in Swansea, Wales, dealing with reservations and sales, baggage claims and tracing and customer feedback. Other offices are located at Norwalk, Connecticut; Johannesburg; Barbados; Lagos; Dubai; Greater Delhi; Hong Kong; Shanghai; and Tokyo.[32]

Ownership[edit]

49% of the airline was sold in 1999 to Singapore Airlines for £600 million.[33] On 14 May 2008, the company formally announced an invitation for offers for its Virgin Atlantic stake, and publicly acknowledged that its stake in the airline had "underperformed".[34] In November 2010 it was reported that Virgin Atlantic had appointed Deutsche Bank to begin a strategic review of options for the airline following the tie-up between British Airways and American Airlines.[35] By February 2011 it was confirmed that SkyTeam members Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines had appointed Goldman Sachs to advise them on a joint potential approach for Virgin Atlantic. Etihad Airways was also reported to be considering a deal,[36] and Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group, stated that they would be interested in the airline, but only for the lucrative take-off and landing slots it holds at London Heathrow Airport.[37] On 11 December 2012, Delta Air Lines confirmed the purchase of Singapore Airlines' 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic for just £224 million, with future plans to develop a transatlantic joint venture. Regulatory approval from the United States and European Union was granted on 20 June 2013,[38] and the purchase was completed on 24 June.[39]

Business trends[edit]

The key trends for Virgin Atlantic over recent years are shown below (figures are for each year ending end February; they exclude Virgin Nigeria 2005–2008):

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Turnover (£m) 1,630 1,912 2,141 2,337 2,579 2,357 2,700 2,740 2,870
Profits (EBT) (£m) 68.0 77.5 46.8 22.9 68.4 −132.0 18.5 −80.2 −69.9
Number of employees c.9,000 9,580
Total flights 17,637 18,960 21,344 22,149 20,735 19,484 20,519
Number of passengers (m) 4.5 4.9 5.7 5.8 5.5 5.5 5.3 5.4 5.5
- passenger change year-on-year Increase8.9% Increase15.4% Increase1.4% Decrease5.2% Decrease2.3% Decrease0.3% Increase02% Increase3.5%
Passenger load factor (%) 74.3 72.8 76.5 76.9 78.9 82.5 77.5 78.1 79
Number of aircraft (at year end) 40 40
Notes/sources [40][41] [40][41] [40][41] [40][41] [40][41] [40][41] [40][41] [41][42]
[43][44]
[45][46]
[41]

Little Red[edit]

Little Red Airbus A320-200 operated by Aer Lingus landing at Heathrow Airport

BMI provided domestic and European feeder traffic into Heathrow Airport [47] until it was purchased by British Airways' parent company International Airlines Group in 2011. The Lufthansa-owned airline had faced heavy annual losses of more than £100 million. Under the terms of the takeover, IAG had to relinquish some former BMI domestic slots at Heathrow. Virgin Atlantic purchased enough slots in 2012 to enable it to launch a domestic service on 31 March 2013, under the "Little Red" brand, operating a total of 12 daily services from London to Aberdeen (3), Edinburgh (6), and Manchester (3).[48] The airline wet-leased four Airbus A320s from Aer Lingus, operating with Virgin Atlantic livery, under a three year contract.[49][50]

In September 2014, it was reported that Virgin was considering closing its domestic airline after suffering heavy losses,[51] with Civil Aviation Authority figures confirming an average seat occupancy level of just 37.6% in 2013.[28] The 12 daily pairs of take-off and landing slots at Heathrow cannot be sold for long-haul routes.[52] On 6 October 2014, Virgin confirmed that the Little Red service would close, with flights to Manchester ending in March 2015, and to Edinburgh and Aberdeen in September 2015.[53]

Destinations[edit]

Virgin Atlantic destinations
  United Kingdom
  International destinations

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Virgin Atlantic has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[54]

Fleet[edit]

Airbus A330-300 landing at London Heathrow in June 2013

Virgin Atlantic uses a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with an average age of 9.9 years as of October 2014.[57] Boeing 747-400s and Airbus A330-300s are used on selected routes from Gatwick, Glasgow, and Manchester, with the A330 being used on other flights as well. Boeing 747s, Airbus A340s and Airbus A330s are used interchangeably on all routes from Heathrow. In August 2002, Virgin Atlantic became the first airline to operate the Airbus A340-600.[58] The ageing Airbus A340-300 aircraft is due to be phased out of commercial service, as rising fuel costs have made it less economical to run. Virgin has begun to use the two-engine A330-300 on routes operated by the A340-300.[59]

Virgin Atlantic has orders for Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A380-800 aircraft for delivery beginning 2014 and 2018, respectively. The A380 was projected to enter service in 2006, but a variety of excuses have been given by the airline for not taking delivery.[60] The order for 16 Boeing 787-9s, with options on eight more and purchase rights on 20 more, was announced on 24 April 2007. Virgin have since exercised 5 options and the total firm order is for 21 aircraft. The 5 exercised options will replace the Heathrow 747 fleet in 2015 and 2016. The airline's Gatwick Boeing 747-400s were refurbished in 2012 with new seating and inflight entertainment system. Airbus A330s, in three-class layout, were stationed at Heathrow Airport in April 2012.[61]

Virgin Atlantic's fleet consists of the following aircraft as of October 2014:[62]

Aircraft In Service Orders
[63][64]
Options Passengers Notes
J W Y Total
Airbus A330-300 10 33 48 185 266
Airbus A340-300 2 34 35 171 240 To be phased out by February 2015
Airbus A340-600 13 45 38 225 308
Airbus A380-800 6 6 TBA Entry into service: 2018[60]
Boeing 747-400 12 44 62 261 367
14 58 379 451
14 66 375 455
Boeing 787-9 1 15[65] 5 31 35 198 264 Deliveries from October 2014
Total 38 21 11

Retired fleet[edit]

A Vickers Viscount wet-leased from British Air Ferries at Dublin Airport

In the past, Virgin Atlantic has operated a variety of aircraft. The retired fleet includes:[citation needed]

Aircraft Active Notes
Airbus A320-200 1995–2000 One leased for a London to Athens service, replaced by an A321 in 2000.[66]
1999–2001 Three operated for Virgin Sun.
Airbus A321-200 2000–2003 Leased for a London to Athens service to replace an A320,[66][67] named Hellenic Beauty
2000–2001 One operated for Virgin Sun.
Boeing 747-100 1990–2000 G-VMIA named 'Spirit of Sir Freddie' after Sir Freddie Laker.
Boeing 747-200 1984–2005 G-VIRG was Virgin's first aircraft.

Marketing[edit]

Livery[edit]

Virgin's first aircraft were painted with a "Eurowhite" design with a red stripe through the centre of the main deck windows. The engines were metallic silver and the tail red with the Virgin logo in white. In the 1990s, the refreshed design was introduced, removing the centre red stripe through the windows, engines were painted red, the Virgin Atlantic titles in grey were added along the main fuselage, and the 'Flying Lady' was introduced to the nose area. In October 2006, with the delivery of G-VRED, Virgin introduced a new design, with the fuselage painted in metallic silver and a revised tail fin, with red and purple features and the Virgin logo. Near the nose of each aircraft is a pin-up girl, the "Scarlet Lady", carrying a Union flag, which was designed by British artist Ken White, who modelled the motif on the World War II pin-ups of Alberto Vargas – hence the naming one of the fleet Varga Girl.[41]

Boeing 747-400 Lady Penelope in Birthday Girl livery in 2011

Each aircraft has a name, usually feminine, such as Ladybird, Island Lady, and Ruby Tuesday, but some are linked to registrations (e.g. G-VFIZ became Bubbles). There are a couple of commemorative names (e.g. G-VEIL—Queen of the Skies—which was named by Queen Elizabeth II on 7 April 2004, in celebration of the centenary of the Entente Cordiale). An exception is Spirit of Sir Freddie. An early Boeing 747, it was named in honour of Freddie Laker of Laker Airways, who helped Virgin Atlantic following the demise of his own airline. G-VFAB—Lady Penelope—gained a special livery to celebrate Virgin Atlantic's 21st birthday.

The current livery dates from 2010 and returns to the "Eurowhite" design featuring purple billboard titles on the fuselage, slight changes to the Scarlet Lady, and new red metallic paint for the aircraft's tail and engines. The wingtips are red, with the Virgin logo on the inside facing passengers on board. The Virgin Atlantic logo was also added in purple billboard titles to the underside of the aircraft.[68]

Notable slogans[edit]

Boeing 747–123 Spirit of Sir Freddie marked with "No Way BA/AA" protest. Ironically, this aircraft was initially ordered by American Airlines as N9669.

Over the years, Virgin has used many slogans, including:

  • "No Way BA/AA": Used in the late 1990s on several 747-400s and A340-600 (G-VBLU) to gain publicity after the announcement of a proposed British AirwaysAmerican Airlines partnership and returned in September 2008 after merger talks between British Airways, Iberia Airlines and American Airlines began.[69]
  • "Britain's Flag Carrier" : When British Airways adopted its "ethnic liveries", Virgin painted the Union Flag on its fleet's winglets.
  • "4 engines 4 long haul" : At a time when competitors were switching to ETOPS twin engine airliners, Virgin's fleet of Airbus A340s and Boeing 747s was all 4-engined, hinting at greater safety on long routes. The slogan was hastily removed when orders for A330s and B787s were announced.
  • "Still Red Hot For 25 Years": Introduced as part of the 25th anniversary television advertisement in 2009.[70]
  • "Your Airline's Either Got It, Or It Hasn't": Revamped 2010 slogan, which made its first appearance on the new advertisement, alongside a new logo and livery.
  • "Flying in the face of ordinary (FITFOO)": appeared alongside a brand new advertising campaign which tried to differentiate Virgin Atlantic staff from its competition

Services[edit]

Virgin Atlantic aircraft operate with a three-class cabin configuration: Economy, Premium Economy, and Upper Class. Premium Economy has a separate check-in area, priority boarding and a wider seat with more legroom. Upper Class features a seat that converts into a fully flat bed and access to chauffeur drive.[71] Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to offer personal entertainment for all passengers in all classes. The airline's frequent-flyer program is styled 'the Flying Club'.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 5 November 1997, after numerous attempts to shake free the jammed main landing gear of an Airbus A340-300 (G-VSKY) failed, the aircraft en route from Los Angeles to Heathrow, made an emergency landing at Heathrow Airport. The aircraft sustained major damage to the undersides of engines 1, 2, and 4, which made contact with the runway surface during landing. The runway surface was also damaged and several runway lights were broken as the right main landing gear wheels broke up during the deceleration. The aircraft was evacuated safely. Two crew members and five passengers sustained minor injuries during the evacuation.[72]
  • On 8 February 2005, on board an Airbus A340-600 aircraft (G-VATL) en route from Hong Kong to Heathrow, the fuel control computer system caused a loss of automatic fuel transfer between tanks. The left outboard engine lost power, and shortly afterwards the right outboard engine also began to falter until the crew began to crossfeed fuel manually. The crew diverted to Amsterdam and landed safely. The interim accident report made four safety recommendations addressed to the primary certification bodies for large transport category aircraft (EASA and the FAA), advising on the need for a low-fuel warning system for large aircraft.[73]

See also[edit]

Notes and citations[edit]

Notes
Citations
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  2. ^ Milmo, Dan (8 January 2013). "Virgin Atlantic hires American Airlines executive as new CEO". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Virgin Atlantic Directors". Virgin Atlantic. 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Virgin Atlantic chief vows return to profit". Financial Times. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "All Services 2012". Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Young, Sarah (24 April 2014). "Virgin Atlantic plots course for return to profit this year". Reuters. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Type A Operating Licence Holders". Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c "Aircraft Illustrated – Virgin Birth". Ian Allan. pp. 48–51. ISSN 0002-2675. 
  9. ^ West Sussex County Times. 20 January 1984. p. 1.
  10. ^ Bamber, G.J.; Gittell, J.H.; Kochan, T.von Nordenflytch, A. (2009). "chapter 5". Up in the Air: How Airlines Can Improve Performance by Engaging their Employees. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 
  11. ^ David Cross. "Flying Dutchman-Virgin Atlantic style." Times [London, England] 17 Nov. 1984: 1. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 20 Sept. 2014.
  12. ^ "Operation of the UK Traffic Distribution Rules in relation to all-cargo services at London Heathrow Airport". BAA Heathrow. Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  13. ^ Lee Glendinning (2 August 2007). "Row over dirty tricks led to decade of hostilities". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  14. ^ Velotta, Richard N. (21 May 2012). "Virgin Atlantic, British airways to do battle over Las Vegas". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Virgin's battle of Britain with BA". BBC News. 7 June 1999. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "Virgin tip-off 'led to BA probe'". BBC News. 23 June 2006. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "US judge upholds BA's $300m fine". BBC News. 23 August 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  18. ^ Osborne, Alistair (14 July 2009). "Virgin boss caught up in BA price fixing case". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  19. ^ "2003 UK Airline Statistics". Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 9 March 2008. 
  20. ^ "2006 UK Airline Statistics". Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 9 March 2008. 
  21. ^ "Virgin Atlantic Operates Relief Flight To Islamabad, Pakistan" (Press release). Virgin Atlantic. 31 October 2005. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  22. ^ "Virgin Atlantic Makes Europe's Largest Single Order For Fuel-Efficient Boeing 787 Dreamlines" (Press release). Virgin Atlantic. 24 April 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  23. ^ "First biofuel flight touches down". BBC News. 24 February 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2008. 
  24. ^ Osborne, Alistair (22 April 2010). "Virgin Atlantic accused of fixing Hong Kong flight prices". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  25. ^ Wearden, Graeme (22 April 2010). "OFT accuses Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific of price-fixing". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  26. ^ Larson, Erik; Lundgren, Kari (14 December 2012). "Virgin Atlantic, Cathay Pacific Cleared in U.K. Price-Fix Probe". Bloomberg (New York). Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  27. ^ Saporito, Bill (13 December 2012). "Virgin Finally Hooks Up: Why Richard Branson Cut a Deal With Delta". Time Magazine (New York). Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  28. ^ a b Nathalie Thomas (7 September 2014). "Doubts over future of Virgin Atlantic's Little Red airline". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  29. ^ Quinn, James (7 October 2014). "British airline calls time on short-haul service after just 18 months in operation". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 October.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  30. ^ "UK Office". Virgin Atlantic. 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  31. ^ "Contact us". Virgin Holidays. 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  32. ^ "Our Offices". Virgin Atlantic. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  33. ^ "Branson sells 49% of Virgin Atlantic". BBC News. 20 December 1999. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  34. ^ "SIA invites offers for its 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic". Channelnewsasia.com. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  35. ^ Alistair Osborne (5 November 2010). "Sir Richard Branson begins strategic review of Virgin Atlantic". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  36. ^ Louise Armitstead (20 February 2011). "Air France and Delta to target Virgin Atlantic". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  37. ^ Max Kingsley-Jones (24 February 2011). "IAG 'very interested' in Virgin, but only for slots: Walsh". Flightglobal. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  38. ^ "Regulators Clear Virgin Atlantic/Delta Deal". Sky News. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  39. ^ Andrew Parker (24 June 2013). "Delta secures Virgin Atlantic stake". Financial Times (London). Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  40. ^ a b c d e f g "UK Airline Statistics, Data, Economic Regulation". Civil Aviation Authority. 19 April 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  41. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Virgin Atlantic press information kit". Virgin Atlantic. March 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  42. ^ "Staff Numbers". Virgin Atlantic. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  43. ^ "Virgin Atlantic completes biggest ever product investment programme as it reports its 2012 financial results" (Press release). Virgin Atlantic. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  44. ^ "Virgin Atlantic Sustainability Report 2013" (Press release). Virgin Atlantic. 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  45. ^ "Virgin Atlantic 2013 Financial Results". 16 May 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  46. ^ Andrew Parker (16 May 2013). "Virgin Atlantic chief vows return to profit". Financial Times (London). Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  47. ^ Mark Odell (19 November 2012). "Virgin set to boost short-haul ambitions". Financial Times. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  48. ^ "Virgin Atlantic unveils UK airline service". BBC News Online. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  49. ^ David Kaminski-Morrow (10 December 2012). "Virgin Atlantic to wet-lease A320s from Aer Lingus". London: Flightglobal. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  50. ^ Ciara Kenny (8 April 2013). "Aer Lingus to operate third UK route for Virgin". Irish Times (Dublin). Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  51. ^ Andrew Clark (8 September 2014). "Little Red could be thrown to the wolves and shut by ruthless Virgin". London: The Times. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  52. ^ "Virgin eyes BMI slots for launch of UK flights". London: Airport Watch. 8 April 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  53. ^ "Virgin Atlantic cancels Little Red domestic flight service". BBC News. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  54. ^ "Our Destinations – Codeshare Destinations". Virgin Atlantic. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  55. ^ Kathryn M. Young (24 June 2013). "Delta closes on Virgin Atlantic stake; codesharing to start July 3 | Regulation content from". ATWOnline. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  56. ^ "North America remains Virgin Atlantic's main network focus". Fiercely independent Virgin Atlantic struggles to attain profitability. CAPA Centre for Aviation. Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  57. ^ "Virgin Atlantic fleet". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  58. ^ "Virgin Atlantic's A340-600 – the Longest Plane in the World – Takes its First Commercial Flight". Pressreleasenetwork.com. 5 August 2002. Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  59. ^ "Introducing our brand new Airbus A330". Virgin Atlantic. 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  60. ^ a b Robert Wall (17 July 2013). "Virgin Atlantic Delays Buying Airbus A380, Monitors Boeing 787". Bloomberg. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  61. ^ "Virgin Atlantic Prepares to Debut A330-300". Routes Online. 11 April 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  62. ^ "GINFO Search Results Summary". Civil Aviation Authority. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  63. ^ "Airbus – Orders & Deliveries". Airbus EADS. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  64. ^ "Boeing – Orders & Deliveries". The Boeing Company. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
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  66. ^ a b "Marketplace". Flight International: 8. 11 April 2000. 
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Further reading[edit]

  • Gregory, Martyn. Dirty Tricks: British Airways' Secret War Against Virgin Atlantic. New York: Virgin, 2000. ISBN 0-7535-0458-8
  • Bower, Tom. Branson. UK: Fourth Estate, 2001 ISBN 1-84115-400-8
  • Branson, Richard (2006 [2nd reprint]). Losing my Virginity – The Autobiography. London, UK: Virgin Books Ltd. ISBN 0-7535-1020-0.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]