hz747300
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Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:19 am

Or so it would seem... As a Reuters employee I feel bad that I cannot give you the whole article, but here is a portion of the article:

-- UPDATE 1-Virgin USA airline startup eyes NY, San Francisco --
(Adds details)
NEW YORK, May 24 (Reuters) - British entrepreneur Richard
Branson said on Monday the Virgin USA startup airline, which is
tentatively set to launch sometime next year, has narrowed its
choices for a home city to San Francisco or New York.
Speaking at an entrepreneurs' summit, Branson said the
carrier, which does not yet have a name, route structure or
airplanes, was considering buying aircraft from Boeing or
Airbus.
"I can't at this stage confirm whether it's going to be Airbus
or Boeing ... I think the airline is going to need about 50
planes," he said. >>>>>>>>>>>>



(Additional reporting by Kathy Fieweger in Chicago)
((Reporting by Daniel Bases, editing by Phil Berlowitz; Reuters
Messaging: daniel.bases.reuters.com@reuters.net))
((Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for:
* 3000 Xtra: visit http://topnews.session.rservices.com
* BridgeStation: view story .134
For more information on Top News: http://topnews.reuters.com))

(C) Reuters 2004. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of
Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly
prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters
sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of
companies around the world.
Keep on truckin'...
 
artsyman
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:28 am

While I did read that in the news, I now have my doubts that Virgin USA will ever happen. If you have kept up with their news, they have been reporting now for a few years that the carrier would launch "early next year", but we are now two years past that, and they are still reporting early next year.

As far as them launching from New York, I just can't see it. The would be going into a battle against Continental (which will always offer more destinations than virgin) and Jetblue who arguably will at least match or beat them on price.

San Francisco is more likely considering that Reid is from San Francisco, and there will be less immediate low cost competition.

Long, long, long way to go

J
 
Greg
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:28 am

This will be tied into the widebody order for either more 346's or 773's.
 
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legacyins
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:29 am

I did not think New York was in the running. For the past few months it has been widely known that the contenders were San Francisco, Boston and Washington.
 
atcboy73
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:34 am

I now too seem to feel that this airline wont happen.

SFO as a base. That schedule will be on time  Big thumbs up
 
hz747300
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:34 am

Well, if it is tied into a widebody order for A35/6's or 772/3's, then US carriers will be sure to cry foul. The worries are that Branson while only having 25% of the voting stock on paper, will have 99% of the decision making authority. Worry of the foreign sphere of influence prior to a joint Virgin order, will turn to outright accusations if such an order were indeed placed.

Now my opinion: The airline will happen, it will not be a smashing success if it is in New York. But, a spotlight would not shine as bright anywhere else. However, if careful research is coordinated, I am certain the changing shape of the US air travel market would reveal some defficiencies where a new airline, like Virgin USA, could succeed.

Now my soapbox: If it employs Americans at decent wages and brings the joy and convenience of air travel to the masses, I hope it succeeds.
Keep on truckin'...
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:38 am

50 planes? Given that U.S. Airways said they will not be selling off any assets, what are they going to do with this many aircraft! Where in the U.S. market is there room for a 50-strong LCC fleet? The timing is way off on this move.. he was about 4 years too late.
 
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Richard28
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:38 am

 
FLY2LIM
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:39 am

Remember, people proclaimed that Virgin Atlantic would not fly either and, if it did, it would be a terrible failure for the long haired, hippie like Branson. I wonder who's laughing now?
FLY2LIM
Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
 
bobnwa
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:42 am

Richard Branson is the greatest living self promotor followed by Donald Trump. They have both mastered the concept of new announcements that are repeats from months or even years ago.

As for Virgin USA, will it happen before the return of the Graf Zepplin to the New York skies? The only asset Virgin USA has is a president who is on loan until he finds another job.
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:51 am

Shall we begin speculating if it will be 50 717s?  Wink/being sarcastic
 
Greg
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:53 am

Already been eliminated from the competition in round 1. Not enough range....too little capacity.
 
artsyman
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:53 am

f it employs Americans at decent wages and brings the joy and convenience of air travel to the masses, I hope it succeeds.
****

Neither Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Blue pays decent wages, so I am not optimistic that Virgin USA will either. If it is an LCC, then wages will be low.

J
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:56 am

Already been eliminated from the competition in round 1. Not enough range....too little capacity.


I was being sarcastic...
 
anstar
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 4:41 am

Perhaps Branson is sitting on the lines waiting for a failure.....

If UAL goes, lets take SFO, if US goes, lets take New York (East Coast).

I'm sure he will be doing his homework before Virgin USA starts...
 
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Aloha717200
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 6:09 am

UAL isn't going anywhere.
 
Greg
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 6:14 am

There is a very real posibility UA will fail.
Their only real hope now is the gov't loan.
IF that should fail, then UAL will definetely go down. There is, however, no reason to believe the loan is in any danger.

Even with the gov't backed bailout (call it what you want), there is the possibility that hey will not survive.

Once the selling of assets starts, it will signal the beginning of it's demise.
 
jetbluefan1
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 6:21 am

50 aircraft? My guess would be some type of 737, as Virgin Express and Virgin Blue are already familiar with.

New York or San Fran? If they base themselves in NYC, their little red selves will be chased out by blue tales before they can say "sale fare." San Fran is a better choice, but still is not too great. They'll have lots of competition from UA, and neighboring OAK is swarmed with flights from WN and some from B6.

I think Virgin USA missed the boat. There's enough airlines in the U.S and too much capacity (or not enough people flying) - and here comes I-Air. At this point, it would be a mess if they decided to launch.

JetBluefan1
 
komododx
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 6:26 am

Well I'll be darned... at least he narrowed his choice down for a manufacturer! (It's pretty obvious it's gonna be A or B, not E)

KdX in TLH
I'm homeless and unemployed
 
wdleiser
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 6:33 am

I highly doubt UAL will go under. They seem to be making progress, unlike USair which seems to be screwed.
 
brons2
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 7:25 am

I think it will be the A32x, because I'm sure WN would be in a tizzy if they were allocated 50 737 production slots, seeing as how 2004 and 2005 slots are sold out.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
usatoeze
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 8:10 am

Two Things:

Brons2:
Great point about WNs delivery slots.

If A32xs are ordered, wouldnt there be a fear by Airbus that when either US or UA ultimately fail(one of them will...search yourself you know it to be true), wouldnt the market be flooded with used Airbus aircraft. The scary thing to think about is that on top of UA and US there are also airlines like Spirit and Independence, which there are chances that either of them could fail in the next five years. I guess just something to think about.
War is a very poor political tool
 
sq452
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 8:12 am

Just saw on Bloomberg that he hasnt decided whether or not it is Airbus or Boeing to supply the planes for Virgin US
SIN > CVG > BOS
 
UA744Flagship
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 8:53 am

Don't pay attention to Greg.

He has a poor understanding of the airline industry despite his throusands of posts.

Reality:
- There is reason to doubt that UAL's ATSB loan will be approved (yes, this comes from a rabid UAL cheerleader)
- Even if UAL doesn't get the ATSB loan... that does not signal the end for the airline... just that less desirable investors/opportunists will step in with funding hoping to rape the company for a quick buck

Back on topic:
A fair amount of actual airline analysts believe that V.USA will not fly.
no wire hangers!
 
747firstclass
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 12:00 pm

I can not possibly believe that Bush, behind the scenes, will let the loan for UAL be turned down. Period. This is an election year and he does not need any more problems.
As for Virgin USA, I do not think it will start up "sometime next year" If you notice from a recent press release they mention "they hope to start sometime next year" I emphasize the word hope.
They have not even submitted a business plan for the US DOT approval or any other paperwork. That approval process alone takes months and months. In short "it aint gonna fly"
 
AA737-823
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 12:21 pm

I really feel like it will be an Airbus order. You guys know how much I prefer Boeing (take a hint- don't get me started), but I really think Branson will stick with the Busses.
And I developed that opinion before someone mentioned that 737 slots don't exist for the next couple of years. Geesh- that's gotta be a hurdle.

R
 
HlywdCatft
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 1:16 pm

If Branson brings his airline onto U.S. soil and orders Buses, I hope the airline fails.

I know its not really cabotage, but it almost is in a way unless he hires U.S. pilots and workers. As others said though he will hire them at a low wage, then go and order a bunch of Airbuses.

I personally hope this airline doesn't get off the ground.
 
Vorticity
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 1:23 pm

Seems to me there isn't enough market to add another airline without hurting another. I bet Branson has the power to get his going, so I wonder who's on the way out if this goes through.
Thermodynamics and english units don't mix...
 
mark777300
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 3:03 pm

Sorry folks, but I can't see Virgin USA using NY as it's hub. People are simply just focusing on B6 and CO, but thats not the whole picture. You have SWA out in ISP, AA has presence at JFK as well as EWR and LGA, DL with Song brings in more, and lets not forget all the LCCs operating around the region, Spirit, AirTran, ATA, F9, etc....It would be much like commiting suicide by entering this market at this point in time. It would have worked a few years back, but not at this point in time, not out of the new york area. It would be wiser to start out of another city with less competition.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 9:14 pm

Aren't both S.F and NYC notoriously expensive cities? Wouldn't a new start-up want to go into a centrally-located, more economical area? This doesn't make any sense.
Finally made it to an airline mecca!
 
hz747300
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 9:35 pm

Actually, that's a great point Jetbluefan1--Virgin Express and Blue both already use the 737. I would agree then that the likely choice is the 737 since he has two successful business models already with the type.
Keep on truckin'...
 
Greg
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 10:18 pm

Gee, I'm not sure UAL774...but when your single largest capital lender has said they will not longer bank you (and are selling your loans), then I'd say that I'm not the only one pessimistic about the future of UAL.

Once the assets start selling..it's the beggining of the end.

There were millions who also said that the US Govt wouldn't dream of letting PA, BN, or EA go under....... Where are those folks now?

Not a pessimist, just a realist.
 
sfointern
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Tue May 25, 2004 11:26 pm

California's courtship of Virgin USA

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/05/25/BUGUN6R4PG1.DTL&type=business
 
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scbriml
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 12:38 am

If Branson brings his airline onto U.S. soil and orders Buses, I hope the airline fails.

Branson isn't bringing a foreign airline to the US, he's starting a new US airline.

I know its not really cabotage, but it almost is in a way unless he hires U.S. pilots and workers. As others said though he will hire them at a low wage, then go and order a bunch of Airbuses.

Ever heard the words capitalism, free and market?  Insane What is your problem with that? Branson has already clearly stated that the employees would be Americans - he will be creating American jobs. If you don't like the wages he pays, don't work for him.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
alphascan
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 1:17 am

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/05/25/BUGUN6R4PG1.DTL&type=business

Interesting article. Thanks Intern.

I hadn't heard about Primairis out of LAS before. They may be a few steps ahead of Richie.

Branson is quoted saying February start up.....but....some delays. Probably just wants to get wooed and party in NYC before making an announcement. Sounds like he's had a good time at the expense of the Californians. Party on Richie!
"To he who only has a hammer in his toolbelt, every problem looks like a nail."
 
Flaps
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 1:19 am

Just my two cents but........

I recall previous stories that the headquarters decision would not necessarily be linked to an operating base. Very few details regarding Virgin USA's operating plans have ever been issued (if in fact they exist at all). Would they be a hub and spoke, a point to point or a linked multiple focus city network? Branson's exististance is based on image and publicity so SFO and NYC would be likely headquarters cities for that reason. They dont have be the primary focus of the operation, they are good places to issue press conferences and seek visibility though.

Despite the proliferation of LCC's I think there is still plenty of room for more. That may come at the expense of one or more of the majors or one of the weaker LCC's but a well run and well financed operation can still be successful. The Branson and Virgin names give instant credibility which is priceless in drawign the general public to an LCC. For example, just take a look at how much nam recognition this "airline" has even though it doesnt even exist. If they put just one plane in the air they will probably be the second or third widely recognized LCC after WN and perhaps B6 or FL. Style can sometimes win over substance, especially in this country.

As for a fleet choice regarding new aircraft, where will he find the delivery slots? They arent there, especially with regard to the 737. Im no Airbus Corporation or EU fan but the busses are great planes and there is a fairly young fleet of the whole 319/320/321 family ripe for the plucking if US goes under. My thought is no order will be imminently announced. Look for a startup Airbus fleet of 20-30 used planes followed up by new build Airbus'
as the slots open. There is no hurry to get this off the ground.
 
UAMAYBACH1239
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 2:53 am

Virgin did make that announcement for the purchase of 50 ac, but if he did linger around until next year and US did downsize or sell off assets im sure he would jump in. If you recall about 3 or 4 years ago when One World and Star was pulling and tugging for Air Canada LH said it would do what was necessary
that would have a positive outcome for Star and its members.

I think allowing US to join star was probably forward looking and a very good idea. Virgin America will have trouble out of SFO not because of UA but
the weather cannot be controlled. Shuttle By United had 33flts. a day LAX-SFO and on most days 28 made it the rest were usually cxld. due to weather.
a/c flown 737-222/322/522 757/747-1-2-4, 767-2-3, 777-2-3, A319-20, DC10-10-30, L1011-3-5, 727-222adv, MD85-90 flyourfri
 
EAL757
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 8:37 am

I agree with earlier posts...I think V-USA will flop...aren't there laws to keep him out of the USA? Geez, I don't want the guy here...we don't need his airline.

-Jeff
 
Northwest717
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 10:14 am

Aight, well.....Strong words Jeff, BUT, I am going to have to agree with you on this one. I mean, how would the UK like it if we came in and created SouthwestUK or JetBlueUK. They wouldn't be too happy. We have enough airlines in the U.S. as it is. We don't need anymore. Just my .02$!

-Tim  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Dubai: Center of the 21st Century
 
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airportugal310
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 10:53 am

I really dont care either way, but I doubt hes going anywhere either.

Some of you need to take a chill pill, namely Hollywoodcatfight whatever that is AND EAL757. Be patriotic all you want, but don't over do it. Jeesh. Maybe they should keep you out of the UK. Wouldnt that be nice...
I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
 
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scbriml
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 1:58 pm

I agree with earlier posts...I think V-USA will flop...aren't there laws to keep him out of the USA? Geez, I don't want the guy here...we don't need his airline.

Land of the free and the home of the brave?

So you don't want someone to invest their money in the US and create jobs?  Insane

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
bjg231
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 2:16 pm

"So you don't want someone to invest their money in the US and create jobs?"



I think the fear isn't that it would create jobs, but that the added competition may threaten current jobs with other airlines. Although I personally think the airline will flop (the LCC market seems oversaturated IMO), any added domestic competition, especially when run by a foreign company, will be unpopular to many Americans in this forum.
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you.
 
EAL757
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 9:44 pm

I think the fear isn't that it would create jobs, but that the added competition may threaten current jobs with other airlines. Although I personally think the airline will flop (the LCC market seems oversaturated IMO), any added domestic competition, especially when run by a foreign company, will be unpopular to many Americans in this forum.

Bjg231...I couldn't have said it better myself--much respect my friend. Sorry guys, if possible, I try to be patriotic and fly American and buy American. I say keep Branson out because there all LCC's all over the place...we don't need another. It's not like the current LCC's are hurting for competition and monopolizing! ...geez, it's a jungle out there with ATA, AirTran, Blue, Southwest, Spirit, Song, Ted, Frontier ...we don't need the UK version of the LCC...keep it in the freakn UK!
-
Jeff
 
EAL757
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 9:45 pm

AirPortugal310: take a chill pill? Is this not a discussion forum based on the idea that people can share their opinions? I shared mine--what need do I have for a chill pill. Deal with it man.

-Jeff
 
united4ever
Posts: 287
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 10:02 pm

Shall we begin speculating if it will be 50 717s?

Nah, it'll be second hand DC9s from North West after they replace them with A319s in the year nod.  Big grin

Mike
 
redraider
Posts: 515
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 10:19 pm

Yes, what a horrible notion - more competition. We can't let it happen. I want to pay higher fares with fewer choices for travel. Please make this happen Branson and don't start V-USA.

Also, Mr. Bush, please waste millions on a UAL loan. Their management has shown such competency for the past 10 years (at least) that they will do what's best with the money at the taxpayer's expense.

Why do airline 'fans' shun capitalism and the free market?
My wife can't wrestle, but you should see her box.
 
EAL757
Posts: 176
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 10:29 pm

Why do airline 'fans' shun capitalism and the free market?

we don't shun capitalism...but it's a vicious war domestically already--why are we going to let a UK LCC in to make matters worse? Independence Air starts up soon...do you see me complaining? But wait, it's an LCC with like 80 airplanes and some A320's on order...again, why do I not complain? Because it's a US carrier...they have every right to be here. Can UK carriers fly here? Sure, but set up a domestic low cost network? Imagine a British LCC based out of Atlanta or Chicago or New York? It just isn't right! We need to be supporting AMERICAN capitalism...not polluting it

Jeff
 
redraider
Posts: 515
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 10:40 pm

There's no such thing as 'American' capitalism. It defeats the purposes of capitalism and free trade to be so protectionist.
My wife can't wrestle, but you should see her box.
 
ord
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 10:41 pm

"Also, Mr. Bush, please waste millions on a UAL loan. Their management has shown such competency for the past 10 years (at least)..."

Redraider, you obviously don't know your aviation history because Gerald Greenwald, who was CEO of UAL from 1994-1999, was and still is regarded as a great leader and business man. It was during his tenure that UAL made record profits and had good employee relations, and that was not by accident.
 
potomac
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RE: Virgin USA To Order 50 Planes

Wed May 26, 2004 11:08 pm

i think the definition of virgin usa as a 'foreign carrier' is being stretched a little too far in all of this...started by a um, 'foreigner' in richard branson, yet majority owned and fully operated and employed by us employees. this is not a "UK LCC."