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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book.

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Friday, 28 July 2017

Air France - KLM - Alitalia form 'unholy alliance' to acquire 80percent of Virgin Atlantic and bypass brexit


 
Air France-KLM is to acquire around a third of Virgin Atlantic (VA), leaving Sir Richard Branson's, Virgin Group, with a minority stake in the airline he founded in 1984.
Air France-KLM is taking a 31percent stake, worth £220m, in VA as part of a four-way split with US partner Delta.
The Virgin Group's share will fall from a controlling 51percent  to just 20percent.

Delta will retain 49percent.
Sir Richard is to remain "very much involved" after the deal, but more in a marketing/ PR capacity.
Jean-Marc Janaillac, chief executive of Air France-KLM, claimed the new partnership would give customers "even more choice between Europe, UK and the United States via twelve hubs on both sides of the Atlantic".

 

Virgin Atlantic and Delta have been code sharing flights as a joint-venture for over four years, targeting the sectors between Europe and the USA.

Now that the UK is leaving the EU, there are wholesale changes within the aviation industry with many airlines setting up EU based operating compnies so they can continue flying even if the UK fails to complete a brexit and trade deal, inside the current two year timetable.

This is coupled with increasing competition with a change in emphasis and service levels and type. Even the aircraft are different with new entrants featuring slim narrow bodied twin engine new generation aircraft.  

Norwegian has made notable advances and the Spanish based budget ' Level'  budget airline operated by British Airways service is offering long-haul flights.

With the uncertain news over Alitalia's future, with a possible restructure or liquidation now a distinct possibility. Alitalia is however currently part of the new venture, will daily operate some 300 transatlantic flights.


Virgin and its partners (in a statement seen by BBC News)  said they would offer "convenient flight schedules with competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem miles across all carriers". 


In a blaze of publicity in 1984 Virgin Atlantic, was set up with one aircraft. Richard Branson's Virgin had a troubled birth and opened up an all out bitter commercial feud and price war with Lord King then boss of British Airways.


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