17-Jun-2011 12:22 PM

Virgin Atlantic a 'hedge' against BA-AA

Virgin Atlantic President Sir Richard Branson stated the carrier has benefited from “corporate concern” about the power of the allied trans-Atlantic carriers, which includes British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia (Travel Weekly, 16-Jun-2011). Virgin Atlantic's senior vice president for North America Chris Rossi said that when BA and American Airlines began coordinating routes in Oct-2010, Virgin Atlantic moved from the number three player on the London-New York route to number two, leaving Virgin as a “hedge against the combined power of BA-AA.”

Virgin Atlantic: "Initially, we were very worried about immunity for BA-AA and the fact that they would be able to collude on prices and work together. What we've actually found is that the big corporations don't like it either. They don't want them to become dominant, and we're finding that [they're giving] 50% of their business to us, and 50% to the BA-AA conglomerate. So we seem to be doing OK with it." Sir Richard Branson, president. Source: Travel Weekly, 16-Jun-2011.

Virgin Atlantic: "We fought the BA-AA alliance very hard. We thought it was wrong in terms of size and scope, and we still believe that. But equally, I think the market's a bit frightened by it, too, so corporations need to protect themselves and make sure they have a choice." Steve Ridgway, CEO. Source: Travel Weekly, 16-Jun-2011.

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