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Virgin Atlantic

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The Telegraph reports that Air France-KLM has teamed up with Delta Airlines to look at the possibility of purchasing Richard Branson's 51% stake in Virgin Atlantic. Richard Branson's stake in Virgin Atlantic is estimated to be in excess of £500m. The Gulf carrier Etihad has also stated an interest in purchasing Virgin Atlantic.
 

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ryan

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Nov 12, 2010
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They're looking at buying the 49% Singapore own I believe, who are looking to sell, with Branson keeping the remaining 51%. I can't actually find the Telegraph article, but this is what all the other articles are saying.
 

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[textarea]Virgin strategic review offers ‘once in a lifetime opportunity at Heathrow’

Sir Richard Branson's strategic review of airline Virgin Atlantic offers a ‘once-in-a-generation’ chance for Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM Group to grow at Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, Bloomberg reports.

Sir Richard is considering options for his 51% stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd., whose 288 takeoff and landing slots at Heathrow are 3 percent of the total. A buyer would be able to use this slots to add lucrative flights to US and Asian business markets, Ray Neidl, senior aerospace specialist at Maxim Group in New York told Bloomberg. He said: ‘This is huge, and we’re probably never going to have this happen again in our lifetime.' Heathrow slots are ‘hard to come by even in ones and twos. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity.’

Delta and Air France are reported to have appointed Goldman Sachs to advise them on a possible bid for Virgin Atlantic, 51% owned by Sir Richard and 49% by Singapore Airlines. Middle Eastern airlines are also reported to be interested in the airline, whilst Sir Richard has previously stated an interest in linking up with Lufthansa's Heathrow based subsidiary BMI.

Source[/textarea]
 

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[textarea]Virgin Atlantic sign flights deal with JetBlue

Virgin Atlantic has signed a transatlantic partnership with New York-based JetBlue Airways, which will allow passengers flying from its three UK airports to connect onto US domestic flights to 64 US cities. The agreement will cover Virgin's services from Heathrow to Boston, New York John F Kennedy, and Washington and from Gatwick, Glasgow and Manchester to Orlando.

Passengers will be issued with a single ticket combining their transatlantic and US domestic flights and their baggage will be checked through to their final destination. JetBlue flies to 64 cities with more than 600 daily flights.

Source[/textarea]
 

Jordan-34092

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Apparently there a lot of changes going to be happening over the following months i was told by a virgin Atlantic cabin crew member, one of which is the exchange they do with virgin blue regarding cabin crew going over to Australia for a year to fly out there.
 

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[textarea]Virgin celebrate 25 years of Miami flights

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of service to Miami this week. Sir Richard Branson, the airline’s founder and Virgin Group chairman, plus a number of Virgin Atlantic executives will be in Miami Beach Thursday (June 16) for a media event to mark the occasion.

The airline was also offering US customers special fares via its website this week. No such luck for UK customers though.

Source[/textarea]
 

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[textarea]Virgin boss says pilots don’t want to strike

Pilots at Virgin Atlantic do not want to strike in a dispute over pay, Steve Ridgway, the airline’s chief executive officer told Bloomberg News. The British Airways Pilots Association (BALPA, the pilots union), which represents about 85 percent of Virgin's 750 pilots, is currently polling its members on whether to take industrial action in the dispute. The result of the ballot is due next week.

Virgin froze pay after the slump in demand for air travel that followed the global recession, however, Mr Ridgway said: ‘Everybody is very clear that we need to reach an agreement. Both sides are very motivated to get a resolution and I know the pilots, I know they don’t want to go on strike.’

He added that there had been talks between the two sides after the pilots association rejected the company’s offer of lifting wages by 4 percent this year and 3 percent next year and in 2013. The union said that it turned down the proposal because pilots have not had a raise since 2008 and UK inflation is forecast to breach 5 percent this year.

Mr Ridgway said or the dispute: ‘It’s just a matter of can we reach an agreement on what is right in the current market and what the company can afford. We hoped to have reached an agreement by now. All the rest of the company has reached an agreement, which is the first pay rise that anyone’s had for two years.’

Source[/textarea]
 

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[textarea]Virgin pilot strike dates to be announced next week

The union representing Virgin Atlantic pilots will announce strike dates next week unless a dispute over pay is resolved. Virgin pilots who are members of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA, the UK pilots' union) have voted by 97 percent to stage walkouts in protest at a 4 percent pay rise following two years of pay freezes.

Union leaders have urged Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson to become personally involved in breaking the deadlock. BALPA General secretary Jim McAuslan said: ‘We hope Sir Richard is listening. If he were he'd know that pilots are hugely disappointed, do not want to strike but are absolutely resolute in seeing this through to a satisfactory conclusion. Virgin's customers and their pilots want to see this dispute resolved fairly and swiftly. An acknowledgement of that fact and the need to make an improved offer would solve this now.’

Source[/textarea]
 

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[textarea]Virgin pilot strike dates to be announced this week

The union representing Virgin Atlantic pilots will announce strike dates this week unless a dispute over pay is resolved. Virgin pilots who are members of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA, the UK pilots' union) have voted by 97 percent to stage walkouts in protest at a 4 percent pay rise following two years of pay freezes.

Union leaders have urged Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson to become personally involved in breaking the deadlock. BALPA General secretary Jim McAuslan said: ‘We hope Sir Richard is listening. If he were he'd know that pilots are hugely disappointed, do not want to strike but are absolutely resolute in seeing this through to a satisfactory conclusion. Virgin's customers and their pilots want to see this dispute resolved fairly and swiftly. An acknowledgement of that fact and the need to make an improved offer would solve this now.’

Source[/textarea]
 

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[textarea]Branson warns Virgin pilots over strike plans

A strike by pilots at Virgin Atlantic will leave ‘an indelible scar on the company’, its founder and major shareholder, Sir Richard Branson, has said. The pilots' union BALPA is expected to announce dates for industrial action tomorrow, in a dispute over pay. In a letter to the pilots, Sir Richard said he was ‘extremely sad’ about the threat of strikes, and that he would be happy to meet them for private talks to answer questions about the airline's future.

BALPA says a 4% pay rise offered to pilots is not enough after two years of pay freezes. The airline says that the 4% offer is twice the national average, and in addition to a share of company profits, which it describes as ‘industry leading despite a very challenging economic backdrop’.

Sir Richard said: ‘I have looked at the details of your offer and believe it is fair. From the company's point of view, possibly a little too fair. It is one of the best in the industry, along with many other commitments that offer real value to you.’

He added: ‘Unless BALPA withdraws its threat very soon, it will leave an indelible scar on the company, impact customers' trust in us and damage the unique and friendly culture at Virgin Atlantic. It will affect jobs and it will make it very difficult for the company to afford the current offer on the table.’

‘I was obviously extremely sad to see threats of strike action in the press as these negative comments will have already damaged the reputation of our airline and the trust our customers place in us - which we rely on so heavily. They have also played into the hands of our larger rivals.’

Your union asked me to get involved and I've looked at all the facts and believe that our management have made the best offer it can. Our chief operating officer, Steve Griffiths, is ready to meet with BLAPA and your committee again and I appeal to you to insist that they do so as soon as possible.'

Source[/textarea]
 

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[textarea]Virgin pilots call off strike threat after new pay offer

Virgin Atlantic pilots have lifted the threat of a strike after reaching an agreement with the airline's management. British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA, the pilots union) members had voted overwhelmingly to strike for the first time in Virgin Atlantic’s history as part of a pay dispute.

BALPA said yesterday that it has secured a pay offer from the airline, which it would put to its members in a ballot in the coming weeks. All industrial action has been called off following the new offer, which will only be made public once it has been communicated to members.

General secretary Jim McAuslan added: ‘Pilots have never wished to inconvenience the travelling public, especially those looking forward to summer holidays. We have therefore lifted the threat of strike action. Virgin Atlantic pilots will proudly continue their role of flying passengers safely to their destinations.’

Source[/textarea]
 

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[textarea]Virgin call for ‘fairer’ air tax

Current rates of Air Passenger Duty (APD) result in long-haul passengers subsidising short-haul travel by £222 million a year, Virgin Atlantic has said. The airline said that in the last four years APD rates had risen by 20% on short-haul travel, whilst on long-haul travel they have increased by at least 50%.

The current lowest rate of APD is £12 for a passenger travelling economy class on a short-haul flight. APD rates go as high as £170 for a passenger travelling long-haul in business or first class. The airline pointed out that had the tax gone up at the same rate, short-haul flights would collectively be contributing at least £222 million more a year, but instead the difference had been made up by travellers flying long haul.

The airline also pointed out that an analysis it had made of passenger flights to European destinations easily reached by train showed that the APD rate on short-haul flights was not deterring people from making trips by air.

Virgin has called for a new £20 rate of APD for short-haul journeys ‘to redress this disparity’. The airline said this could bring in nearly £650 million to the Treasury, and allow the Government to reduce rates for holidaymakers and business travellers on long haul flights 'who are already paying more than their fair share.'

Source[/textarea]
 

Seasider

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I can't beleive that an Airline is encouraging the government to increase APD, they hould be trying to get it abolished.
 

Jordan-34092

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Seasider said:
I can't beleive that an Airline is encouraging the government to increase APD, they hould be trying to get it abolished.
It's so that people are more than likely to travel long haul than short haul. That way the short haul business will be hit so passengers will travel long haul to further a field destinations, and knowing Virgin Atlantic, Worse airline if you ask me, will want it so they gain more passengers instead of loosing them to the short haul market which competitors like BA benefit from as-well. That's my theory.
 

Jordan-34092

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[textarea]Incident: Virgin Atlantic B744 at Orlando on Jul 20th 2011, bird strike


A Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400, registration G-VTOP performing flight VS-28 from Orlando,FL (USA) to London Gatwick,EN (UK), accelerated through a flock of birds on takeoff from Orlando's runway 17R. The crew continued takeoff and after becoming airborne reported they had run over the top of geese and requested the runway to be inspected. In the absence of abnormal indications the crew continued the flight to London where the aircraft landed safely.

Source: http://avherald.com/h?article=4400a804&opt=0

The FAA reported the aircraft struck a bird and received "unknown damage".[/textarea]
 

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[textarea]Virgin reveal odd items left on planes

Virgin Atlantic has revealed the odd items left on planes in an attempt to get passengers to be more careful over the busy summer months. The airline estimates that more than 12,000 books, 10,500 pairs of reading glasses and 5,000 mobile phones get left onboard its planes every year.

Cameras and MP3 players are also common items that passengers leave behind, and among the not so common were an artificial limb, an urn of human ashes and a movie script. These odd items were found and returned to their owners, but the more common items left behind usually are not.

Laura Hutcheson, Virgin Atlantic's flight services manager, said many passengers ‘start their holidays the moment they get on board and when they relax into their adventure, they can often forget the basics of checking that they don’t leave anything behind.’

Source[/textarea]
 

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[textarea]Virgin to boost Caribbean flights

Virgin Atlantic is adding more flights and premium economy seats to the Caribbean. The airline will increase its capacity this winter including a second weekly flight from Manchester to Barbados. A third weekly flight between Gatwick and Havana, plus a second weekly service to Tobago and Grenada will also be added.

Speaking at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation State of Industry conference in St Martin, Edmond Rose, director of commercial and revenue planning at Virgin Atlantic said the change in onboard product would bring more high-end leisure travellers to the eight Caribbean destinations it flies to.

He said: 'The Caribbean is incredibly important to Virgin Atlantic with eight destinations in our network contributing over 10% of our passenger revenue. We are proud of the business and revenue that is brought to the Caribbean markets through our presence and our brand and we are committed to extending that. Adding 14% more Premium Economy seats to our 747s serving the Caribbean routes is good news for business communities which depend upon reliable premium quality services to the UK and beyond’.

Source[/textarea]
 

Jordan-34092

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[textarea]Incident: Virgin Atlantic A346 over Atlantic on Sep 24th 2011, fuel leak

A Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340-600, registration G-VGOA performing flight VS-40 (dep Sep 23rd) from Chicago O'Hare,IL (USA) to London Heathrow,EN (UK), was enroute over the Atlantic nearing the Irish Coast when the crew shut engine #2 (Trent 556, inboard left hand) down due to a fuel leak. The aircraft entered Irish Airspace at FL365 and continued to London for a safe landing on Heathrow's runway 27R and vacated the runway, the aircraft was subsequently towed to the gate.

A passenger reported the aircraft was approaching the Irish Coast, cabin crew was just serving breakfast and was half way through the service, when the exit signs briefly flashed and the captain called the purser to immediately come to the cockpit. The captain subsequently announced they were dealing with a technical problem and may have to land immediately. The aircraft however continued to Heathrow for a safe landing with emergency services attending the aircraft, the aircraft was subsequently towed to the apron. Cabin crew was talking about a fuel leak and an engine shut down. After arrival at the gate technicians examined the inboard left hand engine.

Another passenger tweeted they had a little drama on board over a fuel leak.

Source[/textarea]
 

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