In an interview on Bloomberg TV, Virgin America founder Sir Richard Branson said he’s open to the concept of beginning a brand-new airline company in the U.S., pending the outcome of a disagreement with Alaska Airlines over how long it will pay royalties for the Virgin America brand name it obtained last year.
Alaska purchased Virgin’s U.S.-based carrier this past December for $2.6 billion, then announced in March that it would be retired by 2019.
When asked if he would consider opening a brand-new carrier in the United States, Branson stated, “watch this space.”
The Virgin creator suggested that Alaska Airlines should continue paying royalties “unless we decide to start another airline.”
“So, we’ll see what happens,” Branson said in the telecasted interview. The Virgin founder said he thinks he ought to be paid royalties through 2040.
As the United States airline company industry is plummeted with overbooking, fewer flights, and recurring labor problems, a brand-new airline company from Virgin would be a welcome addition to the marketplace.
Released in 2007, the design-conscious Virgin America rapidly ended up being a preferred carrier for U.S. fliers and was called by readers as the No. 1 domestic airline for Travel +Leisure’s World Best Awards for 9 years in a row.
After Alaska announced its intention to totally dissolve his beloved brand, the enthusiastic business owner released a goodbye love letter to the workers and consumers of Virgin America that rapidly went viral. An excerpt:
“This was the ride and love of a lifetime. I feel very lucky to have been on it with all of you. I’m told some people at Virgin America are calling today “the day the music died”. It is a sad (and some would say baffling) day. But I’d like to assure them that the music never dies.”
Seems like Sir Branson would like us all to stay tuned!