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Richard Branson And Virgin America  
User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3945 times:
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I've had a few flights on Virgin America since they started, and aside from the IFE being somewhat unreliable and the flight crew still going through teething problems, think they're an asset to our country's air system. While I am pro-globalization, I do feel that Branson is a bit more involved in PR than he "promised" pre-approval. For awhile there was talk of him not even going on the inaugural flight, but suddenly he appears on The Colbert Report, Glen Beck, Ellen, and who knows what else. Then I remembered an article I read last year:

SF Gate Article

Q: To what extent is Richard Branson involved with the airline? Do you call him?

A: I see him mostly socially. He's always dreamt of seeing a Virgin-branded airline operating in the United States. But Richard is also very smart, and he understands that the only way to do that in the United States is through a trademark license, nothing more, nothing less than a trademark license that the U.S. investors contracted with the Virgin Group.

So Richard is an idea guy. Richard is a creative guy. But he's not on the board. I saw him three times face to face last year, and spoke to him twice on the telephone. In total, five times. The conversation is usually like, "Well, how are things going?" I say, "Great." He says, "Are you ever going to get that airline started or not?" and I say, "One of these days," He says, "Do you need anything and are you comfortable?" I say, "I'm great." He does not get involved in the financials or the governance.


Does anyone else think that management at VX tried to downplay Branson's involvement with the new airline or am I just over-analyzing things?

*I hope I did the whole quoting an article thing correctly/legally? Also, please don't take this as an anti-VX post by any means.


When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSJBOEING From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3701 times:

I'm with you on this one. Of course it was downplayed........enough so to make nice for the USDOT and everyone/anyone else who was opposed to VX from the beginning. Come on, he's Richard Branson. With an ego like that we all knew it was only a matter of time before his VX PR nonsense started.

User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3528 times:

Hardly nonsense. He can talk all he wants. He just can't involve himself.

SRB is SRB because he is a master of PR. It would be nonsense for him to say nothing.

NS


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21590 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3474 times:

Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Thread starter):
Does anyone else think that management at VX tried to downplay Branson's involvement with the new airline or am I just over-analyzing things?

I have been saying this since day one. I like VX as a stand alone concept. The sham of the whole thing is that it is billed as a domestic airline, and not another piece of the Virgin system.

SRB is smart. He's attempting to make a global network without worrying about treaties, and there are enough greedy politicians in each region to bite.

BA's approach in the USA is much more political, trying to force our nation to change the law. Branson just plays lip service to the law while he builds a round the world network.

I'd be interested to see how CO is dealing with this behind the scenes, as they were the most vocal about the whole thing and predicted it would be a farce.

I think it was a big mistake to allow the name Virgin to be used at all. But we'll see what happens when VX attempts to codeshare with VS and V Australia...

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 2):
Hardly nonsense. He can talk all he wants. He just can't involve himself.

Wrong. He is marketing the airline personally.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineMattRB From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1624 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3339 times:

Better question.

Who cares?

So what if a foreign national owns a US business?

Is the business contributing to the economy? Is it gainfully employing Americans? If they answer to those two questions is yes, what is the big deal?

Archaic law that needs to be gotten rid of, imo.



Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33289 posts, RR: 71
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3329 times:

Let him market it all he wants. The U.S. needs to get rid of the ridiculous foreign ownership restrictions on U.S. airlines, which are poorly managed. The U.S. would benefit incredibly if well managed European airlines like Air France-KLM and Lufthansa were allowed to take active, major stakes in U.S. carriers.


a.
User currently offlineAerofan From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1517 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3329 times:

Agreed! and gotten rid of fast. Silly, silly, silly

User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5455 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3271 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 3):
Wrong. He is marketing the airline personally.

I don't see where that is against any US regulations.

He has obvious financial interests in the US 'company', he just does not have a place on the board, and no voting rights. If the shareholders of VX want him (or don't want him) to do something ... my understanding is that it's OK.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineRUHFlyer From Saudi Arabia, joined Mar 2007, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3199 times:

a little off topic.. but does VX have the moving flight show in thier IFE ?

User currently offlineSJBOEING From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3020 times:

I guess the manner in which I was using the term 'nonsense' may have been misconstrued. I don't have a problem with SRB. I guess my point was that anyone who honestly thought he'd take a back seat was grossly mistaken. He's a damn smart guy and I respect him.

I don't think foreign ownership of U.S. airlines is the answer to our problems. I would agree that the law is 'silly' and archaic, but I don't see any immediate overall benefit to having a European or Asian carrier come over and assume control of a major U.S. carrier. The issue with VX was obviously limiting SRB's involvement because the last thing we needed was a small 'startup' that was being bankrolled by a billionaire and not subjecting itself to market forces like everyone else.

In the international rhelm, I can see the major U.S. carriers being taught a thing or two by the Europeans, Asians, etc. It needs to be done. But, domestically, foreign ownership isn't going to do us much good. The bottom line over here is weening the American public off of these ridiculously cheap domestic fares and bringing revenues in line with costs. Ownership isn't the issue. Too many seats.


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5455 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2988 times:



Quoting SJBOEING (Reply 9):
But, domestically, foreign ownership isn't going to do us much good. The bottom line over here is weening the American public off of these ridiculously cheap domestic fares and bringing revenues in line with costs. Ownership isn't the issue.

The ownership is the reason that this didn't happen 10 years ago.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineMKENut From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 699 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2935 times:



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 5):
Let him market it all he wants. The U.S. needs to get rid of the ridiculous foreign ownership restrictions on U.S. airlines, which are poorly managed. The U.S. would benefit incredibly if well managed European airlines like Air France-KLM and Lufthansa were allowed to take active, major stakes in U.S. carriers.

I agree with you 100%. Protectionism doesn't work in this day and age. But lets remember that other countries will not reciprocate and allow US companies to own their airlines. This all needs to be worked out and agreements with other countries are forth coming. I hope.


User currently offlineShootTheMoon From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 27 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2711 times:

It is said that Branson has bought a house in the hills of Burlingame, just outside SFO and is overseeing the start of the airline. I got this information from a cigar shop owner in downtown Burlingame who sells Branson cigars and occasionally smokes with him. Noticed the cigar shop because of the picture of the owner and Branson in the window.

Maybe he is more involved than we all think.


User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33289 posts, RR: 71
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 2701 times:

Quoting MKENut (Reply 11):
But lets remember that other countries will not reciprocate and allow US companies to own their airlines.

Of course they will, they already have. U.S. airlines and U.S. companies/investors have been owning foreign airlines for years. Continental, for example, owns a big chunk of Copa. Many countries do not have the strict airline ownership rules the U.S. has. Of course, it varies from country to country, but many countries have liberal foriegn ownership laws.

[Edited 2007-11-14 15:57:21]


a.
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12150 posts, RR: 49
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 2558 times:



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 13):
Of course they will, they already have. U.S. airlines and U.S. companies/investors have been owning foreign airlines for years. Continental, for example, owns a big chunk of Copa. Many countries do not have the strict airline ownership rules the U.S. has. Of course, it varies from country to country, but many countries have liberal foriegn ownership laws

CO sold off 7.5 million shares over a year ago, though they still own roughly 4.4 million shares.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineFumanchewd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2509 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 3):
SRB is smart. He's attempting to make a global network without worrying about treaties, and there are enough greedy politicians in each region to bite.

I've also heard from people speaking with Richard that he is extremely excited about his newest project.

https://www.virgincharter.com/


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