Virgin and British Aiways Boeing 747-400's racing for the finish (yes, I am sure this is photoshopped)
Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have had a cold war going on for years, according to Sir Branson. Now he is taking advantage of British Airways’ admission of financial difficulty by urging the British government not to financially assist the legacy carrier. He states that British Airways is, “not worth much.”
Although Sir Branson might be trying to stir up trouble, British Airways is not in the best financial shape. British Airways’ CEO Willie Walsh has a self-imposed June 30 deadline which he calls, “a fight for survival.”
He recently asked all 40,000 employees to work up to four weeks without pay in an effort to keep the airline afloat.
Sir Branson, who founded the privately held Virgin Atlantic, obviously has much invested if British Airways fails. “We and others are standing by ready to take on their routes and runway slots at Heathrow if they get into serious trouble,” Sir Branson stated re-assuring the government their nation would still have a viable transportation network.
A British Airways spokes person calls Sir Branson’s comments as “fantasy.” The airline stated, “There are no talks with the Government and there will be no talks. We have opposed state aid and our position has not changed.” Both British Airways’s CEO Walsh and finance director Keith Williams have announced they will work for free during the month of July.
Even if British Airways pulls through and Branson is just in fantasy-land, it is never a good sign having an airline (or any company for that matter) asking its employees to work for free. In this economic time, nothing is impossible and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Source: dailymail Image: SamR
Virgin Atlantic's Upperclass Suite
Unless you haven’t been watching the news and this is the first time reading this blog you are well aware of this wonderful global economic mess we are in. Businesses have been looking at ways to cut back and save a few dollars.
One of their solutions is putting their frequent travellers back in coach instead of paying for Business or First class. This leaves airlines with a large hole in their revenue with premium passengers down 21% in February and almost 17% in January of 2009.
With these additional empty front seats, airlines have to start asking – is it time to re-arrange their aircraft? Will business travellers be upgraded back to the front of the plane when the economic turmoil is over or will businesses enjoy the money it saved on airline tickets and continue to only pay for economy seats?
Airlines, like British Airways, who rely heavily on long-distance premium travellers for their revenue are hoping to see more frequent travellers returning to the front of the plane soon. Source: Guardian Image: Start Creative
Boeing 777 not looking so great
British Airways Flight 38 crashed in Heathrow Airport in London in January 2008. Luckily no one died and only 13 of the 136 aboard had minor injuries. The flight landed 1000 feet short of the runway due to lack of thrust to the engines, probably caused from ice in the fuel lines.
Upon landing, the landing gear collapsed and caused quite a mess.
Since then, the aircraft has been kept intact while investigating the accident. Even though the investigation is not completed, permission has been given for the airframe to be “broken up” and “sent for recycling.”
It is quite interesting to think what will happen to the airframe and in what future products it might end up in. Source: Wikipedia & FlightGlobal Image: Wikipedia
British Airways has announced that it is going to merge with long-time partner Iberia. Even though both airlines will keep separate identities (for now) they will still have a combined 450 aircraft and over 250 destinations.
This comes as no surprise as more and more airlines are looking to merge and save money and resources. Even though the BA chief executive Willie Walsh says it is “far too early” to say if any jobs will be lost, it is most likely the new combined airline will need to cut jobs to help save on costs.
Source: The Press Association Original Image: Thomas Becker