Richard Branson FINALLY shares his feelings on the Alaska-Virgin America merger
At a press conference celebrating the start of service between London Heathrow Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Monday, March 27, 2017, Richard Branson shared with those in attendance his personal thoughts on the Alaska Airlines merger with Virgin America.
“It’s baffling and sad,” said Branson. “When I sat down with Alaska, I genuinely believed that they would treasure the brand, that they would treasure the people, that they would treasure the product and that they knew what they were buying, And that the last thing they would do would be to rip the heart out of it, which seems effectively like what they decided to do.”
“It just seems such a waste,” said Branson. “I wonder what it was that Alaska bought and why did they bother?”
Branson also cleared up a recent misconsemption regarding Alaska’s licensing royalty payments. According to Richard Branson, Alaska has to continue paying royalties on the Virgin America brand under the licensing deal until 2040. Richard Branson followed up on the clarification with a, “despite what you might have been told” statement.
It’s clear that Richard Branson is upset, but did he really expect Alaska Airlines, the parent company, to give up their name and brand for one less recognized and successful here in the United States? I mean, I guess he is entitled to be upset, somewhat anyway, given that the “Virgin” brand is his baby.
Source: Travel + Leisure