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Branson: A Major Us Airline Will Fail

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A major US carrier will fail – Virgin boss predicts

A major US carrier will fall victim to the recession, Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson has warned.

He described the current year as “the worst in the history of aviation†due to the economic downturn and a sudden rise in oil prices (see previous TravelMole story).

He admitted that Virgin Atlantic would not repeat last year’s group pre-tax profit performance of more than £60 million in 2009, saying the business travel sector was particularly difficult.

“We are having to batten down the hatches but relatively we will do better than most,†Sir Richard told TravelMole in advance of the airline’s 25th anniversary on June 22.

He said he remained “absolutely confident†that Virgin Atlantic would be around for its 50th anniversary provided competition authorities protect it from potentially damaging actions such as the proposed effective merger of British Airways’ and American Airlines’ transatlantic operations.

But Sir Richard described some big US airlines as being “weak†and predicted: “Within 12 months, I would not be surprised if a big American carrier didn’t goâ€.

He added: “Oil prices have suddenly doubled – that’s a massive burden on the industry. In a recession you would normally have low oil prices; that is not the case this time.â€

The weakening of the value of the dollar will also add extra pressure on airlines in the US, Sir Richard said.

He described the quality of US domestic airlines as being “extremely poor†and saw this an opportunity for offshoot Virgin America to become a “major forceâ€.

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There's something about Branson I've never been able to trust. I just can't put my finger on it.

Never trust a man with a beard.

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So Branson wants the government to "protect it" from the merger of British Airways and American Airlines but was quite happy for the government not to protect the competition from his now virtual monopoly of cable TV/cable broadband in most of the UK. Smarmy, hypocritical c**t.

Branson: haven't you heard, you beat the competition by offering a better service for less. :rolleyes:

Edited by Sir Jack Daw

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As a person, I've always likened Branson to Tony Blair with a beard. He's all surface.

As for the airlines, well they exist by the skin of their teeth at the best of times. I expect to see severe contraction over the next decade.

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Never trust a man with a beard.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cosy, doesn't try it on.

Billy Connolly.

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