Virgin takes on new man: The game changes

Courtesy Getty Images

Courtesy Getty Images

IT looks like Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson is ready to write a new chapter for his “baby”, if not take the airline to the next level. Following close on the heel of U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines’ acquisition of a 49-per-cent stake in the British carrier – bought over from Singapore Airlines – it has appointed former American Airlines executive Craig Kreeger as its next CEO, succeeding outgoing Steve Ridway.

One is interesting is Mr Kreeger’s background, having worked with American and being involved in setting up the alliance between American and British Airways (BA). That may be the experience that Sir Richard is after to kick-start the Virgin-Delta partnership. It magnifies the rivalry of the two US/UK airline partnerships.

Sir Richard said: “We believe Craig has the experience and passion to drive Virgin Atlantic forward and capitalise on the opportunities created by our new venture with Delta Airlines.”

That could be the reason for an external appointment instead of a promotion from within the company.

Also, the game is changing. It would be interesting to see what kind of a dent that Mr Kreeger could inflict on American/BA’s 60-per-cent share of the US/UK market.

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About David Leo
David Leo has more than 30 years of aviation experience, having served in senior management in one of the world's best airlines and airports. He continues to maintain a keen interest in the business, writes freelance and provides consultancy services in the field.

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