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Branson hails partnership between Virgin and Delta

Sir Richard Branson said the alliance between Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines was "exciting" after a deal was struck between the two companies.

Sir Richard Branson Virgin
Virgin Atlantic President Sir Richard Branson. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Virgin Atlantic President, Sir Richard said: "This is an exciting day in Virgin Atlantic history. It signals the start of a new era of expansion, financial growth and many opportunities for our customers and our business.

"I truly look forward to the possibilities our partnership with Delta will offer. We have always been known for our innovation and service and have punched above our weight for 28 years.

"That is why our customers love us so much. We will retain that independent spirit but move forward in a strengthened partnership with Delta.”

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Transport Secretary to address rail line future

The immediate future of a main London to Scotland rail route - thrown into doubt following a botched franchise process - should become clearer today.

Virgin is expected to continue running the West Coast Main Line for the time being Credit: Martin Keene/PA Wire

The Government is expected to announce that Sir Richard Branson's train company, Virgin Rail, can for a time carry on running trains on the West Coast Main Line.

It is believed Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin could also publish the independent report he commissioned when he was forced to scrap the West Coast franchise bidding process.

Virgin flights 'will boost Scotland's aviation industry'

Scotland's Transport Minister Keith Brown said it was a welcome announcement for both passengers and the air industry.

Scotland's Transport Minister Keith Brown Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Archive

He said: "We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Virgin Atlantic and the exciting connections they can offer with all the benefits that will bring for passengers, Scotland's aviation industry and the wider Scottish economy.

"The detail will be worked out over the next couple of weeks but we are pleased that the European Commission has taken note of the need for both Edinburgh and Aberdeen to be served and that Virgin Atlantic will now be able to operate from two of Scotland's most important cities."

The minister said he remained concerned about the lack of competition on the Glasgow to Heathrow service as a consequence of Bmi's withdrawal of the service last year.

Glasgow was not part of the remedies package considered by the European Commission.

Virgin domestic flights 'will provide Scotland with choice'

We're focused on providing Scotland with choice both in terms of routes and carriers whilst extending its reach across the world.

This new regular service does exactly that, giving choice to Heathrow and opening up a new set of onward destinations for our passengers.

We look forward to working with Steve Ridgway and his team over the coming months.

– Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar

Virgin Atlantic 'has fought hard for right to fly short haul'

We have fought hard for the right to fly short haul and take a strong challenge to BA within these shores.

For 28 years both airlines have battled for customers all over the world and it has meant that British consumers have ultimately had some of the world's best flying and lowest fares.

– Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steve Ridgway

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Virgin to offer domestic flights from Heathrow

Sir Richard Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic is poised to begin new domestic services from Heathrow Airport starting from March 2013.

Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic is poised to begin new domestic services from Heathrow Airport Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Virgin said today it had been offered short-haul take-off and landing slots available following the takeover of bmi by British Airways's parent company IAG.

Sir Richard Branson determined to stay sporty

Sir Richard Branson is determined to enjoy his favourite sports into his eighties and says his philosophy in life is to "dream big".

The 62-year-old Virgin tycoon was speaking before the start this morning of the Virgin Active triathlon in London, in which more than 14,000 people will swim, cycle and run around the capital over the course of the weekend.

Sir Richard Branson and his daughter Holly (left) at today's Virgin Active London Triathlon.
Sir Richard Branson and his daughter Holly (left) at today's Virgin Active London Triathlon. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire/Press Association Images

As he prepared for what is described as the largest event of its kind in the world, the billionaire said that despite what people may think about his wealth and exciting life, his health and fitness meant everything to him.

"You can have everything you possibly want but if you don't have health and fitness you don't have anything," he said.

"I'm an enormous believer in setting yourself a challenge every year and trying to accomplish that challenge.

"I'm lucky my kids are of an age when we can do wonderful challenges together."

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