Monarch From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (12 years 10 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4675 times:
Branson to fight for Concorde
Sir Richard Branson has told the BBC that Virgin Atlantic may seek government help if British Airways does not allow it to operate Concorde.
Last week, Sir Richard offered to buy the supersonic planes from British Airways for £1 after BA said it would be retiring the planes later this year.
Passenger numbers have never recovered since Concorde's crash near Paris in 2000 and the aircraft is unprofitable.
But Sir Richard said Virgin Atlantic would be able to operate the plane because the carrier is more efficient than BA.
"We would very much like to fly Concorde," Sir Richard told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
"Since Concorde was built by the British taxpayer at the cost of some billions of pounds and given to British Airways for one pound, if there is a carrier such as Virgin Atlantic with a lower cost base and willing to operate it, we believe British Airways... ought to hand the planes over to Virgin Atlantic."
Sir Richard said BA should not be mothballing the planes when they still had several years flying life left in them.
"I've written to British Airways and asked them if they will give us the planes rather than giving the planes to a museum.
"At the moment I've had a negative response and so I think our next move will be to go to the government... and ask them if they can intervene on our behalf."
The situation is now getting interesting! Your comments please...
MEA-707 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 10 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4633 times:
A cheap and bullying loudmouth PR stunt... Branson demands a package of the planes and the check in lounge and slots for one GBP, a totally unreasonable request. BA invested millions in these, in the original Concorde program itself, quite reasonable then they handed out the unsold Concordes to the two loyal sponsors Air France and BA, and again BA invested millions in the upgrade program after the grounding. Without Concorde, the pax will mainly fly BA first class.
How much I'd like to see Concorde continue to fly, if Branson really has guts, he should account the actual current value of the Concordes, the slots, the lounge and the opportunity costs of loosing pax for BA, and name a reasonable offer. But I'm sure he shouldn't know what to do if BA turned the tables on him and say "OK, you can have them for free if you guarantee to fly them to JFK daily till 2007"
MxCtrlr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 10 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4594 times:
Since it is my understanding, that when BAC and SUD Aviation built Concorde (not specifically British Airways and Air France, but their GOVERNMENTS), they did so with British and French government backing and, in the government agreement with BA at that time (and BA was a state-run airline then), if BA ever dropped these aircraft from their fleet, they could be offered to another carrier at the same price BA paid for them 1 Pound Sterling each. BA was quick to take that offer and agree to those terms, now, it would appear that Sir Richard Branson has a valid contractual point. I think what this really boils down to is BA doesn't want to see "their" flagship go into the hands of Virgin Atlantic - there's definitely no love lost between the two carriers anyway. Go, Sir Richard!
Captcjmac From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 10 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4582 times:
Branson is a marketing genius and getting a Concorde in the VA fleet after the widely publicized retirement of the Concorde would be the biggest marketing stunt he has ever pulled off. Even though it is probably unlikely that he would receive one, I certainly would not count him out. Virgin Atlantic has done amazing things to the airline industry not only in Europe but all over the world. I really hope they do get a Concorde cause I want to continue to see it fly. Good luck Richard!
David_itl From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (12 years 10 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4573 times:
As far as I'm aware, the various modifications needed amount to some £40 million, so it's not just a question of buying the aircraft for £1! He'd need to get some serious usage out Concorde operations for him to make profits (and wouldn't he need to employ the entire Concorde engineering department at BA as well?).
Teva From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 10 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4564 times:
I hope Branson will be able to keep Concorde flying.
And even a 1 GBP deal could be good for BA by signing a contract with Virgin for crew training and maintenance.
Concorde Mx specialists are only at BA and AF. Virgin does not have the skills nor the tools.
It gives BA 2 options: transfer all the maintenance people, or contract them.
Vr-hkg From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (12 years 10 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3867 times:
Never going to happen, this is nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt. Branson gets to suggest that he's "saving" a "British institution" that he has no intention of saving, and be the big hero whose airline you must support.
He knows BA would scrap the planes before they'd let him have them, and even if by some miracle they called his bluff he'd find some reason why he was unable to fly them - then paint it as BA's fault.
Fanofjets From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (12 years 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3778 times:
What Branson is trying to do is to win prestige for his airline. In other words, even if Virgin loses money operating the Concorde, the plane would generate much other revenue on his 747s and A340s. In the same manner, car companies build a limited-edition sports car, which while losing money on its own adds prestige for all the carmaker's other models. It's about advertising. In Virgin's case, though, Branson's publicity is a big part of the airline's corporate identity.
Pe@rson From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (12 years 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3767 times:
This is very good for Branson because it is FREE advertising for the airline and indeed the Virgin brand itself. In addition, Concorde is a very well-respected aircraft, and one that everyone can instantly recognise. Accordingly, and in addition to many more reasons, such publicity will undoubtedly be extremely good for him and his firm.
: I guess that like most airlines VS must be in trouble for Branson to carry on with this nonsense, he gets away with it due to the ignorance of much of
: Forgot to add - because people generally feel very strongly toward Concorde, any attempts for it to fly again will probably be looked upon very favour
: If Virgin wanted the Concordes, Branson would also have to take over and run the maintenance facilities + Concorde staff, as we know, maintaining Conc
: Branson does have almost unlimited access to capital. If he REALLY wants to do this, don't doubt that he can. I'm not British, but, if I were, I would
: Hard to think of any uses, destinations, that BA did not try in 27 years. The only profitable routes were to and from JFK and BGI, yes charters were g
: GDB, Wise words as usual. Let's stop wetting our pants folks,it 'aint gonna happen...you ALL know it, if you really think about it.HE DOESN'T HAVE THE
: If Branson goes the next step,and approach the UK government,then we will know he is serious. I would not put it past Branson being able to make a pro
: In 1984 Fedex was looking at buying the Concordes for cargo service .....
: I've heard that BA wants the Concorde retired so that a legacy ends with some sort of exclusivity. I think that as long as the birds are air worthy, a
: If Branson is serious about this, my guess is he wants to run the Concord for a short time untill the media attention died down a bit. Then he would u
: How many more times do some of you going to have to be told? IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! That 'SIA' Concorde was BA A/C G-BOAD, BA flight crew, BA main
: If he went to the government.... and if he were successful.... How would he do it? Contrary to popular belief, Virgin Atlantic isn't swimming in cash.
: It's not a question of how Branson will do it, this is a publicity stunt. Do people not understand this? Talk of buying the Concordes for £1 is insan