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July/August 2017
For Business, Corporate Travel & Meeting Buyers & Arrangers

Virgin Atlantic might form a fourth airline alliance

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Tom.Otley
Tom.Otley's picture
Virgin Atlantic might form a fourth airline alliance

There's a great piece on the web by Joe Brancatelli, A Fourth Musketeer in the Skies which investigates the following

"The three airline alliances were supposed to make our lives easier. But how much do they really help business travelers? The solution might just be to get Richard Branson's Virgin carriers and other alliance orphans to band together.

As well as making some very valid criticisms of the existing three alliances, the author says the following,

"A fourth alliance wouldn't be all that hard to build, either. You could start with the three airlines that carry the Virgin name: Virgin Atlantic of Britain, Virgin Australia, and Virgin America...."

He also adds that perhas one of the Gulf airlines might join - Etihad, Qatar or Emirates, which perhaps is less likely....

James Martinez
James Martinez's picture
How things have changed in such a short time

I saw this thread and it made me think how much has changed in such a short time.

Virgin is now in with Delta, about to form a Joing Business across the Atlantic, whcih will see it pool its sales efforts in an attempt to compete with IAG and the Lufthansa grouping across the Atlantic, and meanwhile there are increasing questions about whether Airline Alliances have run their course.

Consider the situtation with the Gulf Carriers for instance, each of them following a very different course

Emirates - going along, but effectively taking over the international operations of Qantas in that joint venture

Qatar - stoicking with the alliance model and joining Oneworld

Etihad - not joining an alliance, but doing deals and making alliances so that it can access hundreds more destinations and route people through its network and the Abu Dhabi hub.

It's a shame, but I don't think we'll see another like Virgin - consolidation was long overdue, but it's happeneing in a number of different ways now...

 

Ralf Squires
Ralf Squires's picture
Virgin will look very different in a few years time

I don't agree with WIllie Walsh when he says the Virgin brand might vanish after the Delta deal goes through, but looking at the news this week of them withdrawing from the Accra route, and record losses, it doesn't look good for them on many routes other than the U.S. 

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