luv2cattlecall
Posts: 630
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:25 am

Richard Branson And Virgin America

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:19 pm

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.
.
 
SJBOEING
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:50 pm

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:05 pm

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.
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:46 am

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
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13762
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:13 am

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.
 
MattRB
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:49 am

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:38 am

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.
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24557
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:41 am

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.
 
AEROFAN
Posts: 1406
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:47 am

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:41 am

Agreed! and gotten rid of fast. Silly, silly, silly
 
bond007
Posts: 4423
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:01 am



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!
 
RUHFlyer
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:04 pm

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:54 am

a little off topic.. but does VX have the moving flight show in thier IFE ?
 
SJBOEING
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:50 pm

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:26 pm

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.
 
bond007
Posts: 4423
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:41 pm



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!
 
MKENut
Posts: 144
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:34 am

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:07 pm



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.
 
ShootTheMoon
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:43 pm

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:43 pm

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.
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24557
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:48 pm

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.
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:40 am



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
 
fumanchewd
Posts: 2878
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 7:43 am

RE: Richard Branson And Virgin America

Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:04 am



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/
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: hayzel777, headlessmike, MSN [Bot], PlanesNTrains, RalXWB, speedbored, StuckinCMHland, Tokushima, zkncj and 184 guests