Billionaire Branson scraps Air France-KLM deal to keep control of Virgin Atlantic

victoria@aviationnews-online.com
By victoria@aviationnews-online.com December 3, 2019 11:47

Billionaire Branson scraps Air France-KLM deal to keep control of Virgin Atlantic

Billionaire Richard Branson has scrapped plans to sell his stake in Virgin Atlantic.

Branson will instead retain control and expand the airline he founded, thus abandoning a two-year plan to sell part of the airline to the Air-France KLM group.

Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic signed a joint venture agreement signed in which Air France-KLM would acquire a 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic for £220 million.

Under the deal, Virgin Group would retain a 20% stake and chairmanship of Virgin Atlantic. Delta would retain its 49% stake.

Branson said in a letter posted on the company’s website: “We’ve had a fantastic 2019, with the new A350s joining the fleet, complete with a refresh of our famed onboard experience. We’ve continued to build a modern, fuel-efficient fleet, signing the deal at the Paris Airshow for the A330neos that will join our A350s from 2021. We’ve started flying to Tel Aviv, returned to Mumbai and added more and more seats out of Manchester Airport.”

He also said in his letter that he’ll step up a campaign to secure enough operating slots at an expanded London Heathrow airport to establish Virgin Atlantic as a second UK flag-carrier to rival British Airways.

victoria@aviationnews-online.com
By victoria@aviationnews-online.com December 3, 2019 11:47