Virgin Atlantic axes Little Red venture

Branson: “The odds were stacked against us”

Virgin Atlantic has attacked European regulators after deciding to end its Little Red service. The carrier’s final flight will be in September 2015, just two-and-a-half years after it launched.

Virgin Atlantic started the service after the European Commission awarded it a number of take-off and landing slots at Heathrow following International Airlines Group’s takeover of BMI. But Virgin Atlantic chief executive Craig Kreeger said the number of slots handed over was “totally inadequate” and did not come “close to BA’s network position”.

“While this challenged environment meant Little Red ultimately did not deliver the results we had hoped, this certainly will not dampen our enthusiasm to try new things in the future. We have always fought for what we believe is best for our customers and we will continue to do so.”

President of Virgin Atlantic Sir Richard Branson said: “When the competition authorities allowed British Airways to take over British Midland and all of its slots, we feared there was little we could do to challenge BA’s huge domestic and European network built through decades of dominance. To remedy this, we were offered a meagre package of slots with a number of constraints on how to use them and we decided to lease a few planes on a short term basis to give it our best shot. The odds were stacked against us and sadly we just couldn’t attract enough corporate business on these routes.”

TTG Digital

[pictured: Little Red aircraft]


Check Also

British Airways, BA, Iberia, American Airlines, Finnair, oneworld, transatlantic, routes, flights, basic economy, seating, rules

Transatlantic oneworld flights add basic economy

British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia and Finnair will launch a new ‘basic’ fare on some transatlantic flights.

Emirates, Ryanair, Flybe, Austrian, Virgin, British Airways, easyjet, American Airlines, airlines, load factor, PLF, fullest, planes, aircraft, environment, business, profit

Airlines with best and worst load factor

Flying planes full makes airlines far more profitable, and it’s better for the environment.

Norwegian, transatlantic, low-cost, long-haul, South America, Argentina, company, business, domestic, Buenos Aires

Norwegian breaks speed record

A New York to London flight smashes the transatlantic record.

SAS pilots get a single union

New single union stands up to SAS.

Pilots sacked after fight in cockpit

The pilots are reported to have been in a relationship

Lufthansa beats Ryanair as Europe’s top airline

Lufthansa Group as a whole carried 130 million passengers in 2017