Virgin Atlantic has pledged to remain ‘true to its roots’, while its partnership with Delta allows it to ‘stretch its wings even further’.
The two airlines hit the international headlines yesterday as the American airline was cleared to complete its purchase of a 49% stake of Sir Richard Branson’s transatlantic carrier.
According to The Guardian, Craig Kreeger, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, promised that despite the predictions of rival International Airlines Group boss Willie Walsh, Delta would not subsume Branson’s airline.
Kreeger told the Guardian: ‘Some people questioned our brand identity. I am here today to wholeheartedly reiterate that the Virgin Atlantic brand will continue true to its roots.’
The agreement allowed Virgin ‘to stretch our wings even further, and continue innovating’, he said.
The two carriers announced a codesharing agreement on more than 100 routes as the start of a proposed joint venture that will be fully realised in early 2014.
The deal will allow Delta to gain greater access to Heathrow, while Virgin Atlantic will be able to feed passengers directly on to Delta’s huge US network.
The Guardian added: ‘The sale marks the end of Singapore Airlines’ financially disastrous investment in 49% of Virgin Atlantic, which it purchased for £600m in 1999, and has now sold for $360m (£224m) to Delta.’
Helane Becker, an analyst at Cowen & Co. in New York, told Bloomberg: ‘For most of Delta’s corporate customers, this really evens the playing field with American, British Air[ways] and United as well.’
Bloomberg said that Virgin Atlantic and Delta are ‘looking hard at Seattle’ for a new service to Heathrow.
To see the Guardian article, click here.
To see the Bloomberg article, click here.
To see information from Delta about the Virgin partnership, click here.
To see information from Virgin about the Delta partnership, click here.