Virgin Atlantic

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Which airlines have names for their planes- and why?

For centuries, sailing ships carried names, had captains, were Christened, experienced water salutes and had their left side referred to as port and right side as starboard. These traditions continued into the air but not all airlines name their planes . No one knows why some airlines in the world adopted the tradition of naming their “ships” and others did not.  When a plane is named, unlike ships, a bottle of champagne is not  broken when naming them, but when used, it is poured over the fuselage. Here are as many major airlines that I…

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Post Germanwings: 2 in cockpit

On many of my flights, I have watched the pilot come out of the cockpit to use the lavatory. On some airlines, as he or she has emerged, a member of the cabin crew has replaced him. On others, the pilot or co pilot has left their colleague alone in charge of the plane. The U.S.A had rules before last Tuesday’s Germanwings crash requiring airlines to have two crew members present at all times during the flight. Many other countries allowed airlines to set their own policies. And this has always bothered me. I have always…

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Branson’s flight a drag

In 2010, Virgin Atlantic  Sir Richard Branson made a bet with Air Asia owner Tony Fernandes over who’s Formula 1 Racing team would finish higher in the 2010 season. Whoever’s team won would have to serve as a flight attendant on one of the other airline’s flights. Fernandes won. Branson will fly dressed as a flight attendant on Air Asia’s Perth to Kuala Lumpur flight next Sunday May 12th. He will carry out all of the responsibilities of a flight attendant  on the six-hour flight. Fernandes who worked for Branson at Virgin in the 1980s said: “who would have thought my mentor will…

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Branson Wears Dress

Tickets will be auctioned off for charity for a special Lumpur to London Air Asia flight next May. The focus of the flight will be the sight of Virgin Atlantic owner Richard Branson wearing a female Air Asia flight attendant uniform and serving drinks. The reason for the dress is a 2010 bet between the two over which team would finish higher in a Grand Prix race. AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandes Lotus team finished 10th and Virgin 12th. No doubt there will be plenty of photos! Will Branson be wearing his beard too?    

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Trip Report: Virgin Atlantic to London in Premium

I am a bit of a Virgin with  Virgin Atlantic, particularly compared to their sister carriers: Virgin Australia and Virgin America. Since 2011, Virgin Australia has transitioned to a full service airline and integrated their frequent flyer and fare offerrings with their UK and American counterparts. As a Virgin Australia Platinum flier (top tier), I am eligible for benefits with these partners. My experience is that the systems are still a bit creaky, as this trip illustrates. Booking 8 out of 10 I booked through Virgin Australia using their points on Virgin Atlantic. I got great service…

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Air NZ Struggling

My second favourite airline Air NZ has been losing $NZ1 million per week on long haul traffic. It is now investigating ways to cut $NZ100 million out of expenses. Some of the rumours I have heard are: reducing London flights  (NZ flies to Heathrow via Los Angeles and via Hong Kong every day) pulling out of London altogether handing sectors over from LAX and HK to Virgin Atlantic slashing hundreds of jobs halting all “large  projects” (the message from Air NZ CEO Rob Fyfe: “no sacred cows”) reducing the quality of meals and service in…

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Who gets BMI?

I have always liked British Midland (BMI) and its various incarnations. Owned by Lufthansa since 2009, the loss making BMI is now up for sale. I really hoped Virgin Atlantic would be the buyer of BMI or a Virgin/ Etihad combo would hop in with an offer.  Vigin have had an interest in BMI off and on since 1999. The Virgin and BMI route networks would mesh well. Etihad are clearly looking for expansion by takeover. The major issue is that BMI is losing a lot of money. Virgin and its 49% owner Singapore, would not be keen to…

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