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Virgin Atlantic denies that Delta will damage the brand

May 22, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Virgin Atlantic chief executive Craig Kreeger has denied the airline’s brand values will be allowed to deteriorate under the influence of Delta Air Lines, which owns a 49% stake in the carrier.

Suggestions have arisen that Delta might phase out the Virgin Atlantic brand. Virgin founder Richard Branson has traded words over the issue with Willie Walsh, the chief executive of International Airlines Group, owner of British Airways. CHR_TTR_Banner UK_March14(300x250px)

In an interview with Britain’s Sunday Telegraph, however, Kreeger made clear that  Virgin’s partnership with Delta, which began early this year, would be limited to “co-operation and co-ordination”.  Kreeger, an American, took over last year from longstanding Virgin Atlantic chief Steve Ridgway.

“What Delta needs from Virgin Atlantic is to continue to compete with British Airways on this side of the ocean, and to augment their services and help them compete with American [Airlines] on the other side of the ocean,” Kreeger declared.

“They cannot see us deteriorate our brand one iota. We know it’s our brand and our people and our style that allow us to compete with BA. What will happen is we will find ways to talk about our brands in a way that encourages people to want to try transiting across them – but Virgin Atlantic will be Virgin Atlantic, and Delta will be Delta.”

Branson’s Virgin Group still holds a 10% stake in Virgin Australia. Delta is an international partner of Virgin Australia but owns no equity in the Australian carrier. At last inspection, major shareholders in Virgin Australia were: Air New Zealand 24.5%; Singapore Airlines 21.2%; Etihad Airways 21.2%.

Written by : Peter Needham

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