View Full Version : Sir Richard's Jetset Airlines?

Kerosene Kraut
25th Jul 2001, 14:47
Any news on Jetset? Heard they consider buying up to 20 Global Expresses plus Airbus or Boeing BBJs. And how far are they from really launching it? Thanks, KK.

25th Jul 2001, 15:12
Has to be a fair way off yet surely.

New A340-600 fleet
New A380-800 fleet
Replacing B747-200's with B747-400's
New Sonic Cruisers
Global Express
Boeing BBJ
Airbus A319CJ

Where will all that money come from???

Capt PPRuNe
25th Jul 2001, 15:20
Well he won't get the "Jetset" callsign because that's Air 2000's.... unless he makes an offer they can't refuse! :confused:

Best Western
25th Jul 2001, 15:25
Most of us dream, and then wake up...

Sir Richard dreams out loud and whilst in press conferences

25th Jul 2001, 16:32

IMHO Sir Richard Branson, KBE (can you believe that...), is an example of our wonderful soundbite culture.

He can spout any old garbage at press conferences and no-one questions him becuase journo's are like the rest of us:

They have the memories of goldfish. :rolleyes:

If you read the esteemed Mr Tom Bower's book on his knight-of-the-british-empireness, you will see a pattern developing.

He jumps on any passing bandwagon, having few ideas of his own, but then has the problem of financing his latest harebrained scheme.

Remember he had to sell 49% of the airline to SIA to pay his groups' debts.....

.....wonder who's next?? :eek:

Glad I don't work for him.... :D :D

.....yes I am all bitter and twisted! I swallowed RB's propaganda about 'BA attacks Virgin', only to discover that the reverse was true. Spindoctors....huh..... :rolleyes:

25th Jul 2001, 20:04

25th Jul 2001, 20:09
crewrest -

Believe me you'll feel much better after a good rant!!!!!! :D :D :D :D

You must talk about it, luvvie!!

Claire Rayner

[ 25 July 2001: Message edited by: swashplate ]

northern boy
25th Jul 2001, 21:49
Dear me swashplate, get out of bed the wrong side?.

Tom Bowyer is just another journo after a good story.No doubt he made a huge wad from his book and good luck to him.

Most business these days favour hype over substance.The stock market is nothing but a huge confidence trick,ask anyone with an endowment mortgage or a pension with (in)equitable strife. RB just happens to be rather good at it and at the end of the day, he does own (half) a well known airline so good luck to him as well.

As for Jetset,personally I hope it orders 200 aircraft by Wednsday week.If nothing else it will reduce the time to command from 20 years or whatever it is at the moment.

Lou Scannon
25th Jul 2001, 23:23
Sorry to be picky, but SirDick used to own around 50% of Virgin until he mortgaged it to Lloyds Bank a couple of weeks ago. With Singapore owning the other half does that mean he is now just on a salary?

26th Jul 2001, 02:18

26th Jul 2001, 03:27
Spot on Lou,

He has now lost control of the only cash cow he has.

Everything else would apear to be bleeding.

Cornish Jack
26th Jul 2001, 10:58
Given the mish-mash of collective nonsense that has appeared in this thread so far, why do so many contributors get upset about similar rubbish from the dreaded 'journos' ?

Just to inject a teensy-weensy piece of information as distinct from clap-trap, the amount of 50m from Lloyds represents a SMALL proportion of RB's holding in VAA. I appreciate that it doesn't make such a good vituperative package as some of the previous posts, but it does suffer from the disadvantage of being accurate.

26th Jul 2001, 11:38
Cornish Jack, Fair point but you still have to recognise that a huge amount of the ownership has changed. This from the airline that rumour has it was bailed out by the sale of other major Virgin companies.

It could well be extremely clever business practice, as has been pointed out few of us even own 1% of a major scheduled international airline so I for one am certainly not crowing nor suggesting another way. What I don't get though, going back to the start of the thread, is how all these new and very expensive assets are going to be financed. Maybe put my question another way, how many of these new types that VS / Jetset are either very interested in, or have options on, are likely to really end up with a red tail?

Cornish Jack
26th Jul 2001, 16:52
Quite right, Doodles. The ownership thing is, however, a bit of an irrelevance in the way that it is posed. How many of the BA fleet are OWNED by BA, for example, as distinct from being leased. How much of the BA 'empire' as was in, say,'89, is still part of the package. The Welsh engine overhaul plant sold to GE, the gear repair facility sold to someone else etc., etc. How deep into Lloyds or similar financiers are Birdseed, or any of the majors, for that matter. What RB is doing is what business people do all the time, no more, no less. To try to make something more out of it is as pointless as the standard 'journo' rubbish to which we are daily subjected.

26th Jul 2001, 17:02
Take your point, CJ, Branson is just another greedy buisnessman...

...the point is he pretends that he isn't.

He pretends to be the consumer's champion, taking on the evil 'corporate behemoths' on our behalf.........

.....whereas he's really just lining his own pockets!!! :rolleyes:

e.g. Why did he oppose BM's application for LHR-JFK? Because he would have lost his cosy duopoly with BA on that lucrative route!

Hardly the behaviour of the consumer's champion, IMHO!!! :D :D

My rant earlier was based on the fact that I had swallowed the spin, but have recentley realised the reality! Just like OFLOT.....!!! :D

At least I'll admit that........ :rolleyes:

26th Jul 2001, 18:16

Evidently you have never taken a business course in your life - and you are devoid of any business acumen. Attractive industries have what are called "entry barriers" to protect margins - otherwise, what would induce someone like Branson to come in and invest a lot of time and money on an entrepreneurial effort - where would the investment payback come from if random players could enter and exit an industry at will? Think about it...

Hmmmmmm. Why would Richard Branson try to thwart attempts to add capacity to the lucrative trans-Atlantic runs? Maybe its because he has a fiduciary duty to maximize profits, and adding capacity (more seats in a given market) would likely reduce yields for everyone. How many airlines serve the NYC-London market already? Maybe 5-6 including token flights for Air India and Kuwait Airways. The airline business is expensive to operate in, as we all know, especially with soaring fuel costs. Virgin provides an excellent product/service, and that is expensive. Shouldn't Virgin's management be concerned about protecting their yields/margins? Isn't that what business is all about - profit maximization?

Sure - I know what you and others are going to say: Richard Branson plays the "consumer advocate" and claims to be doing the public a big service by keeping fares low. He must be a greedy hypocrite... Well, if yields are TOO low, Virgin pilots will be jobless or paid significantly less (we know Virgin salaries are already anemic from other threads).

I bet Swashplate is a socialist - or at least he holds the view that "big business" is EVIL... You find that same opinion is ubiquitous in Europe. Hey, without big business, many of us would be jobless - keep that in mind. It wouldn't hurt for Swashplate and others to familiarize themselves with some basic airline-industry economics before they shoot their mouths off with unsubstantiated comments and anti-business rhetoric. It gets tiresome to read that drivel - it's like a broken record sometimes.

By the way, I saw a Global Express a few days ago as it launched out of Dulles Airport - wouldn't mind sitting in the sharp end of that bird! Good luck Virgin pilots - I'd be envious!!!!!


26th Jul 2001, 18:31
Feel better now, Lavdumper..... :D :D

Actually, I'm not a socialist or anything politically. To me, the world is too complex to be reduced to simplistic ideologies.

...looks like you lose that bet, mate!!!! :D :D

No, I've never taken a buisness course in my life, and frankly I'm nor pro-or-anti 'buisness'.

I thought my point was obvious. If RB had said "I'm in it for the money" then I don't think too many people would be all that bothered. In Britain, we don't tend to make heroes out of out buisnessmen anyway....

As I said, however, he pretends to be some sort of social benefactor. It just gets my back up when buisnessmen (who operate for profit) try to pretend to be someting else......

26th Jul 2001, 18:35
Sir Richard Branson, is a spoiler, he sees some one with a business that seems successful, and set's about getting into it with other than good intentions, if he really was the peoples champion he would be giving tickets to ride FOC like he said about the lottery, think what he could make from all that dosh slopping in and out of his hands every week, as for Virgin, well there used to be one on Anglesy!!

Lou Scannon
26th Jul 2001, 21:05
Perhaps I have got it wrong in saying that SirDick no longer owns Virgin. Please correct me if it is untrue that Singapore own 49% and the other 51% was mortgaged to the bank to raise cash.
If true however, it brings into question whether he is able to call the shots anymore, like the really original and innovative idea of nicking Air 2000's callsign that they have used for nearly fifteen years.

Whats wrong with calling it "Speedbird" airlines or something similar?

26th Jul 2001, 21:07
Bransons a meglomaniac, pushing for total domination of his peers, striving for nothing but to quench his thirst for domination of his workers.The salary gets worse, command time gets ever longer, and I can't even get a decent vodka n cola on my
fu(k in flight!

northern boy
27th Jul 2001, 02:12
Sounds like every other tycoon then, shady.

27th Jul 2001, 13:09
Anyone know what he's paying for GLEX drivers?

27th Jul 2001, 14:20
Sold his Megastores in France for a few million yesterday.

27th Jul 2001, 22:17
One aspect of the Virgin Group that I admire:
They do not cross distribute their customer lists to each other. if they DO, they do not use them for marketing.

For example, I have been a member of VS FF since it started. I have never been approached by any other member of the Virgin Group.

I changed over to Virgin Energy. No pressure from them to even take up their gas supply option. I could name others.

So, when all other groups manipulate their customer lists to make more money - and pester the hell out of you in the process - why does the Virgin Group not do that? They might make more money?

This is not blind support for the group or for VS in particular, simply one question that does indicate that they are sympatheic to the customer's point of view.

Noddy Staltern
28th Jul 2001, 00:22
Lou Scannon,

Maths does not appear to be your strong point does it? Branson sold 49% of VS for 600 million (leaving 51% ie 624m). He has used VS as collateral against a 50m loan. Use your calculator if you run out of fingers. I have a mortgage on my house, but I still own it...

28th Jul 2001, 07:44
He has also sold his share of Virgin one {part of the bank group} for a few more million.

Dan Winterland
28th Jul 2001, 17:37
If you read his autobiography, you will find that throughout the history of Virgin that Sir R and the Virgin group are constantly mortgaing/trading assets to finance another Vigin group enterprise of which there are about 125 now. It seems to have worked so far.

Lou Scannon
29th Jul 2001, 15:39
Apologies Noddy, you are right about maths not being my strong point. Otherwise I could understand why it is necessary for SirDick to mortgage the whole of his 51% to borrow just a mere 50 million. If his share is really worth that amount a maths expert would point out that he need only mortgage less than 10% of his holding to raise the required amount.

Kerosene Kraut
31st Jul 2001, 11:39
Sir Richard's financial situation might not be too desperate. From today's Airwise:

Profits Boost As Virgin Weathers Tough Times

Jul 30, 2001

Despite a tough business climate UK airline Virgin Atlantic boosted pre-tax profits by GBP5.5 million in its last fiscal year which ended in April.

The London-based carrier today announced a figure of GBP45.5 million (USD$64.8 million) compared to GBP40 million last year. Turnover rose from GBP1.27 billion to GBP1.52 billion.

Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson highlighted difficult market conditions thoughout the year, citing intense competition, high fuel prices and a weak British pound.

"During the last quarter... signs of an economic slowdown in the USA have impacted on the transatlantic market at home and overseas, particularly for busines traffic," he said. "Despite this the yields and load factor achieved by the airline have been strong."

During the year Virgin expanded with the launch of new services to Las Vegas and Delhi and increased frequencies to San Francisco, Cape Town and Shanghai.

The airline added five more aircraft to its fleet, bringing the total to 34, and placed orders for a further eleven planes - split between Boeing and Airbus.

Virgin, which carried a total of 4.4 million passengers - up by half a million - was also named OAG Airline of the Year.

31st Jul 2001, 13:40
Great news that a major airline is actually making a profit. However, the numbers I've seen indicate that while profitable, Virgin Atlantic Airways actually had a fall of 17.4% in profits from last year. Pre-Tax profits for the airline subsidiary before exceptional items was 41.4m, down from 50.1m last year.

Still pretty good to show a profit at all but as these things warn, trading conditions are tough.

Interesting to back to near the start of this thread, that one of the pressures on profitability was rising depreciation and operating lease payments as the airline expands.