Branson: “we may well give up and become part of an alliance”
It won’t be long before the independent-minded Virgin Atlantic Airways joins a global airline alliance, according to Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson. While in India to relaunch the airline’s London Heathrow-Mumbai service, he told Bloomberg Television: “Virgin Atlantic has always enjoyed its independence, but since pretty well every competitor that we have has an alliance, I think we have finally decided that to survive we need to have an alliance.”
In a press conference in Mumbai, he also said that the airline “may well give up and become part of an alliance,” as reported in The Daily Telegraph. An announcement will be made in the “next three to four months,” he said.
Branson has been hugely critical of alliances in the past and has referred to the partnership between oneworld members British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines on transatlantic services as a “monster monopoly”. Presumably Virgin Atlantic would be considering either the Star Alliance (close partner Singapore Airlines is a member) or SkyTeam (which does not have a UK-based member).