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Virgin to offer business-only service

Ashley Milne-Tyte Jun 4, 2007

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Any of these airlines ring a bell? Eos, SilverJet, MaxJet? They offer business-only flights between the U.S. and the U.K. Lots of room, very comfortable seats, no coach passengers. Today, we found out Virgin Airlines is getting into this market. More now from Ashley Milne-Tyte.

ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Virgin’s got plans for a business-only New York-London route. It also hopes to launch business-only flights to New York from Paris and Amsterdam, among other European cities.

Joe Brancatelli runs JoeSentMe.com, a site for business travelers. He says Virgin hates losing growth to the startup business-only airlines, but it won’t necessarily be easy to get its own business-only flights off the ground.

JOE BRANCATELLI: They’re a 20-year-old airline with an infrastructure and competitive pressures on them . . .

Not as nimble, he says, as they’d like to make out.

Still, Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group says if Virgin launches the new service, startup airlines like MaxJet and SilverJet with infrequent transatlantic service could lose out

.

RICHARD ABOULAFIA: I mean this is a real danger. It’s not just Virgin under-pricing them, it’s Virgin out-frequenting them.

After all, he says, business travel is all down to convenience.

I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Any of these airlines ring a bell? Eos, SilverJet, MaxJet? They offer business-only flights between the U.S. and the U.K. Lots of room, very comfortable seats, no coach passengers. Today, we found out Virgin Airlines is getting into this market. More now from Ashley Milne-Tyte.


ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Virgin’s got plans for a business-only New York-London route. It also hopes to launch business-only flights to New York from Paris and Amsterdam, among other European cities.

Joe Brancatelli runs JoeSentMe.com, a site for business travelers. He says Virgin hates losing growth to the startup business-only airlines, but it won’t necessarily be easy to get its own business-only flights off the ground.

JOE BRANCATELLI: They’re a 20-year-old airline with an infrastructure and competitive pressures on them . . .

Not as nimble, he says, as they’d like to make out.

Still, Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group says if Virgin launches the new service, startup airlines like MaxJet and SilverJet with infrequent transatlantic service could lose out.

RICHARD ABOULAFIA: I mean this is a real danger. It’s not just Virgin under-pricing them, it’s Virgin out-frequenting them.

After all, he says, business travel is all down to convenience.

I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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