i am greatly appalled by Iainhol's remarks on Sir Richard Branson. Of what grounds do you justify that Branson being "nothing about hardwork or doing homework, like most people would include." and "It is all me me me when Richard is talking!"??
Branson's entry into the airline business in 1984 was in fact after studying the market conditions for trans-atlantic travel. At that time, no one could fly across the pond for their money's worth. BA (most significantly) , AA and UA during the early eighties had a virtual monopoly on the LHR - JFK and LHR - Newark routes. Does anyone remember the demise of Sir Freddie Laker's Laker Airways? Before 1977, the cheapest transatlantic fare was 196 pounds. then enter Laker who offered a mere 59 pounds for a ticket. Soon after with much "dirty tricks" and "goverment policies" between Thatcher and Reagan Administration to protect their national carriers, Laker was liquidated.
thanks to Branson and his dare-devil wits to enter the transatlantic routes to compete with the giants. who would EVER thought of doing just that, to the faint-hearted, it is suicidal. Branson's Virgin Atlantic introduced innovative firsts in British aviaition history. While BA claims they are the "World's Favourite Airline" based on passenger loads, Branson went on to build the "World's Best Airline" based on the passengers' choice and service. And that was against all odds set up by the giants.
Does anyone remembers BA's dirty tricks like poaching of Virgin's passengers? it was to the extent that BA staff impersonated Virgin staff to encourage VS pax to switch to BA on a free upgrade, con VS pax on wrong information, and an all-out campaign to smear VS's reputation and credibility among the general public and its shareholders and access secret files about VS operations at airports......all this are masterminded by BA's HIGH LEVEL staff.
And the rest is history, why did you think Lord King resigned from BA as Cheif executive in 1993? remember all the anti-trust law-suits, the compensation for losing the case?
Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic was valued at over 1.2 billion pounds when he sold a 49% stake to SIA in 1999. This was an extra-ordinary achievement for an airline that began life in 1984 with ONE rented B747-200. Virgin Atlantic became one of the world's top airlines only after surviving an incredible dirty tricks campaign by British Airways.
So Iainhol and all the VS skeptics, i think Branson deserves more than being slammed an "outrageous madman with a fetish for ballooning" and "business genius out of pure luck".
Look how he transformed air travel. If not, i think you would be paying millions over a transatlantic fare on some sucky national carrier that has monopolised the entire market at the expense of the general public. Without him, i don't ever think there would ever be affordable prices. Without him, i doubt there would be any competition in Britsh avaition.
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Photo © Robert Holbach