rjpieces
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Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 3:04 pm

I was reading some other threads about people who feel Richard Branson shouldn't be allowed to start a carrier in the US. I was wondering what everyone thinks about it; below are my arguments.

Richard Branson starting a Low Cost carrier would be FANTASTIC for Americans if you actually take the time to think about it. Thousands of Americans would have jobs, these people will take their new salaries and spend the money, etc. Then you have the airline side of it. The order for planes will probably go to Boeing. Plus all of the support services of the airline (any catering, maintenance, etc) will be handled by Americans, hence more money. And finally thousands of people will fly who otherwise might not have. So a person living outside SFO might decide to fly to ATL for a trip. This person will probably spend money renting a car, a hotel room, shopping, eating etc.

Also, the too many airline argument just isn't true. Out of all the majors, how many are making money? Then there's also ATA, JetBlue, Alaska, Hawaiian, Aloha, Midwest, Frontier and AirTran. Most of these airlines don't even compete with each other on ANY routes, and Branson has stated that Virgin America won't compete with B6 or WN ( speaking of which B6 and WN don't compete head to head on any routes either) And also, don't forget that LoCos low fares encourage people to fly who otherwise wouldn't. There aren't a set # of pax who all the airlines are competing for.

Basically, I think people who are against it for pure nationalistic reasons should rethink their stance. If some people want to go out and invest their money in an airline then power to them. If they can make that airline suceed and thrive, more power to them.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
747firstclass
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 3:15 pm

he can do it as long as his stock in the co. is kept at 25% or lower.
 
DLKAPA
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 3:26 pm

Send Virgin in! I would love to see-and hopefully fly on-Virgin USA. (I would also like to join the Mile High club aboard Virgin USA as well Big grin )

DLKAPA
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
sprxflySWA
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 3:39 pm

1,000% for a Branson airline here!! Hopefully hubbed at SFO, much closer to home than any other mentioned hub possibility.
 
TBCITDG
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 3:53 pm

I am a firm believer of competition so long as it is fair, and that everyone plays with the same rules.
One of the things that really put me off the whole "Branson" airline theme is that they really like to get things their own way.
They always try to exude an image of "underdogs" when in reality they want special treatment from the Goverment of the state/country where they set up operations.
They "expect" consessions regarding terminal space, landing fees, and in reality anything else they can avoid to pay.

One needs only look at the fiasco regarding them and "Airport Coopoeration" RE: fees they needed to pay if they wanted to use a particular terminal. They came out in the media with the "poor us" image and "look how much they want us to pay".
If they didi not want to pay, easy, keep on using the facilities that they had.

Like I said before, I am for competition, but wherever they start up in the States, they will try to do everything they can to tilt the playing field in their favour!!

 
EVA744
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 4:06 pm

Yes.
There needs no explanation.


(this is just long enough so that the bot lets me post.)
 
m404
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 4:21 pm

As far as the jobs go I cannot support your figures. How many jobs already created here by the carriers he displaces will be lost? This is Bush accounting.
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
Prinair
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 5:27 pm

NO.

There is enough competition as it is. Not needed. Would do more harm to competing airlines that are trying to recover than any good at all.
PRINAIR : Puerto Rico International Airlines
 
VSGirl
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 5:32 pm

I dont think there is ever enough competition... I think he should be allowed to enter the USA and hats off to him for trying! If it works, great, if it does not then at least he tried...

Kimberly.
 
ZASpringboks
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 6:03 pm

I hate to say this, but yes! I do. I am pro American all the way, but maybe it takes a Britt Bully to come in here and teach the American Carriers a little lesson on how to do things the right way. I'm talking about Song and every other carrier that needs a good jumpstart. I'm hoping in the end, the American carriers get pushed around just enough to say "We're not going to take it anymore!"

God Bless America!
 
col
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 11:25 pm

It makes me laugh when people bring up the comment on how many US jobs will be lost by the majors who are trying to recover. How long will our taxes be used to put a small plaster on a fully exposed chest wound. Majors brought all these problems onto themselves for many years, large slaries, strong unions and same ole, same ole. More jobs will be lost by the majors soon, they can't continue to bleed cash. These lost jobs will be picked up by Virgin US. Virgin US isn't the problem affecting majors, Management/Unions are.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 11:30 pm

I was going to say no, and I still feel that it should be no, tho after reading Col posting I am leaning towards let him start up. I still feel he is going to get back some of what he gave BA and AA when they tried to code share so that should slow that start up down a little.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
N6376M
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 11:32 pm

Since when should the US Government be in the business of limiting competition within a for-profit sector of the economy?

PRINAIR is obviously conflicted - look at his profile. How would he like it if the government, in addition to restricting Branson from starting an airliine in the US set wages for all airline employees? If you support one, how can you not support the other?
 
airbazar
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 11:33 pm

Anyone who's willing to work hard and contribute to the growth of this country's economy in the form of new investment and jobs should and will always be welcomed. That's how this country was built.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 11:34 pm

Competition normally results in higher standards or lower prices or both. Accordingly, it is good for the average consumer. Yes, Virgin America might result in the loss of jobs in other airlines, but then the airline business is all about the survival of the fittest. If you aren't fit enough, you don't survive. It's as simple as that. Go Virgin America!
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
twalives
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Fri Feb 13, 2004 11:35 pm

like it or not...this is what we like to call capitalism
 
alphascan
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 12:53 am

Should Branson be "allowed"??? As long as Virgin follows the rules, this is a moot question.

Will he succeed? Its going to take a great deal of capital.
"To he who only has a hammer in his toolbelt, every problem looks like a nail."
 
Setjet
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:14 am

No way, he can't do that.

I wish the US of A would be a dictators state, then this guy would go to jail for trying to ruin US companies!


P.s.: Pls note irony
 
User avatar
STT757
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:17 am

There's nothing to debate, the new Virgin America airline will be an American company which is licensed to use the Virgin Brand.

It will be based in the USA and have 75% of it's ownership in the hands of US investors, Branson will have 25%.

It's similar to Coke and Pepsi agreements with bottlers abroad, Coke and Pepsi in Countries outside the US is owned, operated and manufactured by people of that Country. The local bottler is licensed to market, use the brand name and "recipe" for Coke or Pepsi.

Debating Virgin America is mute because it's an American company, Branson is a minority investor.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
BeltwayBandit
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:27 am

You would not ask this question if it was Donald Trump or any other American. The concept of "letting" someone start a business is generally alien in the US except when talking about airlines (and a few other things). So what you are really saying is, should we drop the foreign control issue?

Recent DOT action on DHL suggests that the limit can be circumvented by separating the airline operations (aircraft, crew, maintenance, etc.) from the booking and marketing side. I'm sure Branson's all over this.

Do I want a creative, competitive addition to this industry? Sure, but I would hope that his focus is no building yields (not undercutting price) and offering a service worth paying more for.
 
sarrebal
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:34 am

The market will tell if there is enough competition.
And if there is enough competition, somebody else could be kicked out, not Virgin Usa.
 
MD-90
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:42 am

Heck yeah, let him in!

Compete or die. That's the rule of free markets (except when it comes to American companies paying twice the market price of sugar because our government is wrongly subsidizing a few growers even though Australians can grow it for cheaper. Ditto for our high price orange juice and steel protectionism....GRRRR! C'mon Bush be a CONSERVATIVE!!!).

Anyway, yes.


Compete or die. You can always use fresh blood in the airline industry.
 
gigneil
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:43 am

This is a free market. If Branson's airline does better than a domestic US airline, the domestic US airline deserves to go out of business.

They always try to exude an image of "underdogs" when in reality they want special treatment from the Goverment of the state/country where they set up operations.


You're thinking of Ryanair, and Southwest, and Frontier, and everyone else, possibly to include Virgin's low cost businesses.

N
 
caetravlr
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin Amer

Sat Feb 14, 2004 2:00 am

As much as I hate the fact that it could hasten the demise of an airline like USAirways, there really is no question as to whether or not the new carrier should be "allowed". If it follows the rules and regulations regarding commerce and ownership in the U.S., then there really is no way to prevent it, and there shouldn't be, that is why the laws are set up the way they are, and the reason capitalism has worked so well over the years. As I stated in a thread yesterday, I don't like the timing, and I don't like the fact that it will not create new markets and open up flying to new people who wouldn't otherwise fly, but it will be a business of siphoning off customers who would otherwise fly other airlines in this time of overcapacity in our country.

Bash me all you want, I understand a free market economy, and it works. Survival of the fittest. There is no law or logical reason to keep this company out, I just wish it would be at a point when our economy was a little stronger.

Only my opinion.

CAETravlr
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
elwood64151
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 3:55 am

I have no issues with cabotage - the allowing of international carriers to operate domestic US routes - so long as American carriers are allowed to do the same thing in those countries.

For example: Richard Branson calls all of his ventures "Virgin" because he incorporates them or their holding companies in the British Virgin Islands. As part of the British Commonwealth, the Virgin Islands are technically part of the EU (I'm not exactly sure of their legal definition).

In any event, so long as US carriers are allowed to fly domestic routes within the boundaries of the country's whose carriers are flying in the US, I have no problem.

But the issue is so messed up because of the uncertain definition of the EU (is it a trade alliance, a confederation of states, or a sovereign nation-state?), I don't think it should happen until that is cleared up, and the definition of places like the Virgin Islands is determined.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 4:01 am

I don't think the definition of the EU is uncertain - for the purposes of commerce, it is a Single European Market. Diplomatically and militarily there is still some deciding to do, but from the point of view of civil aviation, it is most definitely one market.

Re the BVI, I don't know that they are considered to be part of the EU for the purposed of commerce - neither are the French DOM-TOM's I don't think, although because of their closer ties with France, I couldn't swear to it. The BVI are a British Colony (rather than British Overseas Territory, like the Falklands).
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
BeltwayBandit
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 4:18 am

I actually have my doubts that Branson would enjoy any cost advantage versus Southwest, JetBlue, Frontier, Airtran or Spirit. If he wants to enter the market, he should offer something different (perhaps international routes!).
 
cancidas
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 4:22 am

i love how some people actually try thier hardest to control what others do. mr. branson, come to the US! i'd love to see those virgin tails more often! Big grin
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
Guest

RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 4:24 am

The market looks like it is pretty well saturated as is. I doubt he would make a go of it however, unless he thought he could make money at it. Love him or hate him Branson is no dummy and if he thinks he can make money we will see Virgin USA. He may get great deals on the airplanes from Boeing but lets face it, he is buying the same fuel everyone else is, buying the same gates, paying the same landing fees and dealing with the same labor costs. He better have a great trick up his sleeve.

I still maintain my theory that for the airline industry to start growing again at least one major carrier needs to go out of business. Branson entering the market is not going to make this outlook any better.
 
MD80Nut
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 4:32 am

Would Herb Kelleher be allowed to start "Southwest UK" or "Southwest Europe"?
If the answer is yes, then let Branson in. If the answer is no, then tell Branson
no way. Simple.

cheers, Ralph
Fly Douglas Jets DC-8 / DC-9 / DC-10 / MD80 / MD11 / MD90 / 717
 
DeltaMD11
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 7:04 am

"Also, the too many airline argument just isn't true. Out of all the majors, how many are making money? Then there's also ATA, JetBlue, Alaska, Hawaiian, Aloha, Midwest, Frontier and AirTran."

Just to let you know, ATA and Alaska Airlines are both major airlines.
Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
 
Prinair
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 7:16 am

N6376M...I am not "conflicted"

You know nothing about what you are talking about.
PRINAIR : Puerto Rico International Airlines
 
planemaker
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 2:00 pm

Elwood64151

"For example: Richard Branson calls all of his ventures "Virgin" because he incorporates them or their holding companies in the British Virgin Islands."

Rubbish. Where on earth did you get that notion for why he calls his companies VIRGIN. His companies are now called "Virgin" because that is the name that his fledgling record store was called when he was still in school:

"In 1970, the British government abolished the Retail Price Maintenance Agreement, but none of the stores elected to discount records. Richard Branson saw an opportunity for Student to offer records cheaply by running ads for mail order delivery. The student readers of Student spent a great deal of money on records even at full price. How would they respond to this opportunity?

It turned out that the orders so flooded in that they were more lucrative than magazine subscriptions. Richard rounded up the staff of Student and recruited them to spin off a discount music business. They found an empty shop above a shoe store and persuaded the owner to let them build shelves and move in a couple of old sofas for their first store. In lieu of rent, they promised that they'd bring so much traffic that the shoe store's business would pick up too. Now all they needed was a name.

The first candidate was "Slipped Disc." It had promise. It was catchy and appealed to a wider range of buyers than "Student." Then one of the group piped up "Virgin." Because, she said, "we're complete virgins at business." In retrospect, Richard says he's happy they went with the alternate name."


You can read all about "Virgin" in: Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
ahsanf28
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Tue Feb 17, 2004 3:46 pm

Of course he should. After all, the American flyers do deserve to fly in style that only Virgin can offer. It will set standards for other American domestic carriers to follow.
 
PVD757
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Tue Feb 17, 2004 7:35 pm

I believe there is still too much capacity in the US system. If someone were to go permanently, then maybe this would be a good idea. I still have a suspicion about IAD and Independent Air.......................
 
ben
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:34 pm

Yes, he should be allowed to do it..

The traditional big airlines in the USA suck. Let's be very honest about it.. they aren't good at much except protecting their patch with bullying tactics.

Airlines like JetBlue have kicked-ass because they have made a genuine effort to innovate and be customer focused.

In my native country of Australia, airlines were/are much the same. I was very happy to go back home for Christmas last year and fly with Virgin Blue, his start-up in Australia. It was fantastic.

They have value for money fares, still generally high, but much better than Qantas. The timetables seem to be consistently better optimised... I was going to have to wait in Sydney for 5 hours with Qantas and pay about 60% more for the pleasure on my connecting flight from Perth to Coffs Harbour. With Virgin Blue it was a just a 45 minute connection one way and 1 hour on the return. I investigated other connections and routings which all confirmed my theory.

I could go on and on.. but competition is a good thing for many reasons.

Go Virgin.. I hope they sort out the old, inefficient, bureaucratic companies over in the USA too.
 
Lufthansa
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:44 pm

I think san fran is the ideal market for this venture. It is a market that would like a little more sophistication than WN offers and, is rip for the picking!

Hey whoever made the comment about herb keller being able to start Southwest UK or EU, consider this. How many countries does Ford sell cars in?
 
MD80Nut
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Wed Feb 18, 2004 12:49 am

>>Hey whoever made the comment about herb keller being able to start Southwest UK or EU, consider this. How many countries does Ford sell cars in?<<

That was me. That has nothing to do with the way different countries regulate air travel. How many countries does Toyota sell cars in, do the Japanese allow foreign or foreign owned airlines to fly within Japan? No. Nations tend to be very protective of their airlines, witness how most countries won't allow foreign airlines to fly passengers within their countries. Or between their country and a third contry. Most nations already have rules restricting foreign ownership of their airlines.

cheers, Ralph
Fly Douglas Jets DC-8 / DC-9 / DC-10 / MD80 / MD11 / MD90 / 717
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Wed Feb 18, 2004 7:26 am

We don't need another cherry-picker airliner running Airbuses from the North to Florida.....

I like AA's term for the LCC's - limited choice carriers......

I wish there would actually be job growth in this country where people could make more than $9 / hour or $30K a year.....
 
ANX4fishing
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin Amer

Wed Feb 18, 2004 7:35 am

Yeah, bring him here. I heard his people were visiting SFO the other day, evaluating it as a HQ.
 
vatveng
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin Amer

Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:41 am

There were similar "foreign ownership" questions back in the '80s when Rupert Murdoch was trying to start up the FOX Television Network. He got around it by becoming a naturalized US citizen.
 
COTXDFW777AA
Posts: 314
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:49 am

I think he should be able to as long as he doesn't start a LCC, nothing against them (this is not that kind of thread). But, if he was as good a business man as people say he could make it work.
-COTXDFW777AA
Texas- it's like a whole different country!
 
rjpieces
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin Amer

Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:09 am

COTXDFW777AA, I was just thinking about this last night but there are now several categories for airlines.

LCC doesn't have to mean Southwest. All new carriers should aim to be Low Cost Carriers. These days though we are seeing lots of niche LCCs/Low fare airliines and I'm sure Virgin (which is known for always doing something a step above) will have something interesting with their new airline and not be totally no frills like WN.

What kind of LCC airline wouldn't you want Branson to start, out of curiousity?
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
AeroAussie
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:27 am

Branson has done nothing but bring innovation and new blood to the airline industry. He started a great thing in Vigrin Atlantic, and went on to make Virgin Express and Virgin Blue just as successful. In a market where one start up after the next failed to succeed, Branson made Virgin Blue profitable. Not to mention his success in providing BA with competition from LHR to the US. If he wants to start up a carrier in the USA, all the more power to him. LCC or not, I would welcome Virgin USA with open arms, as I'm sure it will bring some fresh changes to our domestic airline services.

-Nick
 
NWAFA
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:31 am

I have mixed feelings on Sir Branson coming over to the US. I LOVE Virgin..I think he is increadable. I love everything about them!

I think there are too many carriers now in the US, thats part of the problem..but then competition will take care of that I guess.

THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
 
rjpieces
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin Amer

Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:39 am

NWAFA, just wondering but how do you define too many carriers? As long as businessmen are willing to fund carriers and there are gates and slots for these airlines, I see no problem with it. The more people who fly and travel, the better.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
NWAFA
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Wed Feb 18, 2004 11:57 am

I think it comes down to financial health..the more carriers there are, the least chance an airline can keep a strong financial health.
THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
 
rjpieces
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin Amer

Wed Feb 18, 2004 12:40 pm

I don't think that comparison works at all. The more carriers there are, the better it is for the consumer. If an airline needs to charge outrageous prices to stay healthy they have problems with their model. WN and all of the other locos around the world have shown that it is possible to fly people and make money, in good as well as bad times.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
rb211
Posts: 413
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RE: Should Branson Be Allowed To Start Virgin America?

Thu Feb 19, 2004 1:03 am

Hey, if Arnie can become Governor of California, why not!
Airline photography. Whether they're fully clothed, butt naked, having issues or confused I'm taking pictures!!
 
sevenair
Posts: 1486
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2001 7:18 am

.

Thu Feb 19, 2004 1:29 am

well, its ok for american companies to come over to England and push other companies out of business. For starters lets say McDonalds. If yanks can spread their wings throught the world, then why the hell can't the british or any other national at that?
SIR RIchard Branson will surely do a good job, for example, if one of his airlines was declared bankrupt, im sure he would use the money more wisely than a certain blue+grey airline who spent money on rebranding.

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