Time to talk about Tricky Dicky Branson and Virgin Atlantic.
Today’s subject is: BA and AA – Don’t merge!
Some readers might be concerned… why am I going after Branson as opposed to O’Leary. Alas, Mr Branson likes to make a lot of noise, and time and again – fails to deliver.
– “I’ll sponsor the London Eye” – that died a quiet Death
– “I’ll change the Railways” – Oh yes. The Disaster that was Virgin Cross Country and some of the ongoing issues with Virgin West Coast. Nicely implemented job.
-“We’ll only use Quad Engined Jets”… and orders A350’s, B787, and A330’s.
Now a valid concern is the amount of slots the jointly owned company would control between London and the USA – with control of slots a big part of the problem.
Yes – there is a lot of traffic now and people are falling over themselves to offer good fares 1) to fill capacity and 2) completion inspires this. To prove this, lets have a look
I’m comparing fares (LHR-NYC, Departing 22/10, returning 26/10):
CO – £330
DL/AF – £335
VS – £355
So a reasonable spread of fares there… even if VS/BA are near the top of the tree.
Certainly there is a need for due diligence by the EU and the US Administrations, but in this age of competition, surely free flowing and good competition must flow?
Branson is a master of the PR exercise and stunt – alas, people are slowly wising up to this. What Virgin Atlantic needs to do is innovate – like it always has done and not blame others for its failings or frequency. Whilst the might of a BA/AA partnership may scare some people, unless you fight for corner.
As much as might hate to say it – It could be time for Virgin to acquire BMI and move into T1 and be done with it, giving them the full domestic and regional network as well as growth space (and a few aircraft as well) to really take on BA and AA – and increase the links with their Star Alliance “friends”
And actually swallowing your pride and joining an alliance won’t hurt to be honest… but working with Continental and the rest of the Star Alliance – could that be a bitter pill for you to follow Richard?