Virgin atlantic is a british based airline. It is owned 51 percent by Richard Branson’s virgin group and 49 percent by singapore airlines. It is registered in the aviation industry with licences to carry people, cargo, and mail. Its headquarters are located in crawley England near the Gatwick airport. Virgin atlantic’s main base is in heathrow althogh by the year 2008 the airline had a global presence with flights to and from major cities of all the continents. Despite the global financial crisis virgin atlantic was one of the few airlines to return after tax profits in the last financial year.
Conception: V irgin atlantic was conceived as british antlantic airways in 1982. Later on Richard branson acuired a controlling stake causing the name to change to virgin atlantic. Later branson was to go ahead and buy out the entire stake. Surprisingly the airline managed to record profits within a year of its inaugural operations. Virgin atlantic has grown steadily grown into an international airline. By last year it was the british second largest airline in terms of mileage. This is mainly as a result of its many long-haul flights.
The success of the airline has not been without controversies especially when it was granted landing rights at heathrow despite british airways’ opposition to the move. The year 2000 saw virgin group sell 49 percent stake of virgin atlantic to singapore airlines. Competitors and technology: Since inception virgin atlantic’s biggest and most ardent competitor has been british airways. Although in any industry all firms are competitors, the two airlines have had much rivalry amongst themselves.
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Despite normal competition strategies like low fares and spacier lounges the two airlines have been involved in some kind of ‘dirty competition tricks’ amongst themselves . Among the most notable rivalries include the use of the union flag to represent as the official british carrier. In addition to this virgin atlantic’s opposition to the merger of british airways and american airlines, caused the airline to paint a ‘No-Way BA/AA’ on their aircrafts. Additionally the two airlines have been involved in publicity stunts that have ended up to the law courts.
In addition virgin atlantic did expose a collusion for surcharging customers with british airways that caused the latter to be fined and the former to be given immunity. In terms of technology both firms have been at the forefront in trying to achieve customer satisfaction. As a result virgin atlantic was the first airline to use the airbus A340-600. Virgin atlantic offers seat-back televisions that are maeant to offer entertainment to all of its customres. In addition the airline offers audio/video on demand services on some of the more lucrative routes.
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