View Full Version : What ever happened to Martin Halstead aka Baby Branson?

12th Mar 2008, 13:07
Where did he go? Was he in fact a figment of his own imagination, in that even he did not exist outside his own virtual world?

I think we should be told.

Here's the last thread on the fellow link (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=198619&highlight=martin+halstead)

12th Mar 2008, 14:38
I think he might be Virgin Cabin Crew now. Alpha Jet never got off the ground.

12th Mar 2008, 23:30


"Other presenters on Scottish Internet Television include Martin Halstead who was nicknamed Baby Branson after starting his own airline Alpha One Airways which flew from the Isle of Man to Edinburgh at the age of 18 years. Martin Halstead sold the airline for a huge profit and set up another. He test drives the car and presents the motor programmes"

Localiser Green
12th Mar 2008, 23:44
According to Flight Training News as of July 2007 Martin was indeed working as cabin crew for Virgin Atlantic.

"Martin’s aviation connection lives on in his current job as Cabin Crew for Virgin Atlantic"

13th Mar 2008, 09:13
I guess it helped his application by being interviewed by the Boss!

1st Apr 2008, 15:22
He left Virgin in February and is finishing his IR ;)

2nd Apr 2009, 00:04
Apparently he finished his ir a while ago and he started working for a company in aldernay or guernsey. I believe it may be Blue Islands since they operate the Jetstream, but if not it may very well be Aurigny.

15th Mar 2010, 20:51
Varsity Express: Baby Branson’s bogus business - Times Online (http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/entrepreneur/article7061160.ece)

On March 1 2010, he launched a new airline, Varsity Express, flying daily flights between Oxford and Edinburgh.

On March 8 2010, he announced the company was ceasing operations.

The Times investigated his business practices with VE and found that he had:

- Used a fictitious name, Will Gilligan, to pretend to be both the commercial director and a financial backer of his airline. He confessed to sending emails to people purporting to come from “Gilligan”. :ugh:

- Launched his business with a partner, David Lawrence, who is disqualified from being a company director. :\

- Boasted of a “consortium” of wealthy investors in the airline who never existed. :=

- Raised money for the enterprise by luring four young pilots to pay more than £50,000, which went into his personal bank account. All of it has since been spent. :mad:

The Thames Valley Police Financial Crimes Unit is said to be investigating.:D

15th Mar 2010, 20:54
On his way to jail soon probably!

Absolutely no way!!! With a CV like that I predict a glowing future for him in Investment Banking.

15th Mar 2010, 23:45
The given about (successful) con-men is that they are plausible - otherwise they are immediately uncovered as liars.

16th Mar 2010, 00:38
There was an item about him in Sunday's Times. Can't remember if it had any more to it than the online piece as I read it only shortly before leaving the pub. :hmm:

16th Mar 2010, 01:54
Varsity Express: Baby Branson’s bogus business - Times Online (http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/entrepreneur/article7061160.ece)

More at:- http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/408838-varsity-express-gone-bust-within-1-week-merged-4.html

16th Mar 2010, 22:02
Some may have considered him plausible in the AlphaOne days. Many thought Varsity Express was plausible, right up to the moment it was discovered that he was behind it. Even then, a few still thought it was plausible and forked over money for Type Ratings, but many more had interviews, smelled a rat and walked away feeling they had a lucky escape.

Meanwhile, his PR reps and solicitors so effectively sanitized PPrune of anything negative, that the only plausible source of warning for the gullible was utterly silent. It's a real shame given how often the moderators claim to be warning people about scams and shams that they didn't stand up to his legal maneuvers. :ugh::ugh:

Anyone who Googled his name and read his previous rounds of interviews should have been able to detect the self-promoting narcissism. Why would anyone trust a guy selling seats on one route for £49 and professing to desire an Aston Martin to actually be able to run a business soundly? Why would you assume he could dictate to his subcontractor who they must hire as an FO? Why would you trust someone who professes to have gone through 1200 business plans when one good one would have done. That alone should have given insight into a frightening tendency to exaggerate. Why would a businessman brag about his girlfriend dumping him during a flight to mumbai with Branson? If Branson really did tell him to always make himself look stupid because the news will always send a camera, then he surely took that advice to heart! It's a shame he didn't learn anything useful about running a business from his nicknamesake.

16th Mar 2010, 23:50
There was something on Ceefax earlier today about him being questioned or charged on suspicion of fraud.

Can't find it now though.

17th Mar 2010, 01:20
No charges have been filed as yet, but multiple news reports say the Thames Valley Police Financial Crimes Unit is investigating. Both Links Air and one of the FOs from whom he collected £15K for a J-31 Type Rating have allegedly reported him to the police for suspicion of fraud. MH is still violating common sense and talking to the press according to BBC news who spoke to him today. He is still saying that hiding his involvement with VE behind the fictitious name Will Gilligan was necessary due to the way AlphaOne ended and there is nothing wrong with this. He is still saying everyone will be repaid.

Lon More
17th Mar 2010, 20:03
There's a thread on R&N about this as well.


17th Mar 2010, 20:59
Another jack-the-lad whose had his come-uppance. Maybe he could get a job in one of Mr Branson's call centres? He'd fit right in.

17th Mar 2010, 21:50
He seems to have all the qualifications to become a member of Parliment.

bar fly
9th Aug 2010, 15:06
He's back.

Commercial Director at BVI Airways in the British Virgin Islands.

9th Aug 2010, 15:43
Does anybody know much about BVI Airways? It seems you are able to book flights through their website. Not sure how credible they are.

9th Aug 2010, 17:26
credible - or creditable?

(maybe both . . . )

10th Aug 2010, 00:20
Whatever happened to Mike Kruger? ;)

Lon More
10th Aug 2010, 12:11
Whatever happened to Mike Kruger?
Assistant coach (http://www.generalssports.com/sports/mlax/coaches/Kruger?tmpl=/information/directory/bio-template) to a Lacrosse team

1st Sep 2010, 08:40
Boys in blue decide Halstead was not a naughty boy - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-11139527)

"Police have confirmed they are no longer investigating claims of fraud involving a company which ran flights between Oxford and Edinburgh. Services by Varsity Express, set up by entrepreneur Martin Halstead, started in March but were cancelled within a week.

Earlier, Thames Valley police said they would launch an investigation following complaints.

In a statement, the force said the inquiry showed no offence had occurred.
It said: "Thames Valley Police can confirm that all the interested parties in this case were written to last week and told that this was a civil matter.

"While we appreciate this may not be the response they were hoping for, unfortunately the investigation showed that no crime had been committed and this was a civil matter, therefore Thames Valley Police are unable to take any further action."

Mr Good Cat
27th Sep 2010, 15:48
I love the way things can be classified as a "civil mattter"...

Recently the tenants of my buy-to-let apartment abandoned it causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. They also stole all my furniture.

I found some photos on their Faceboook pages of MY furniture in their parents houses. Police of course say it's a "civil matter" not theft of property! To take them to court I pay my solicitor's costs, and my taxes pay their legal aid.

What I want to know is, If I were to execute them both in a revenge attack would that be classed as murder or a "civil matter" for their relatives to deal with through the courts..???

Mmm... thought not.:=:mad:

28th Sep 2010, 12:02
Mr Good Cat

The small claims court may be a possible avenue in your circumstances; however, it is unlikely to help those pilots who lost their 'investment'.

28th Sep 2010, 12:35
Police of course say it's a "civil matter" not theft of property!

Debatable, to say the least. Try writing to the Chief Constable.

Wouldn't be Thames Valley, by any chance? I had a similar response when my car got a kicking .....

28th Sep 2010, 12:43
They also stole all my furniture.

I always though theft was a Police matter?

12th Jan 2011, 12:03
My recent intel is that he is a first officer for BVI. Hope they checked him out before employing him.

12th Jan 2011, 12:14
British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31, G-CCPW, was in July 2010 operated by Jetstream Executive Travel Ltd.

2nd Feb 2011, 14:28
flyVarsity.com is now redirecting to "globalsky.eu" with a logo and "coming soon" on it. Surely he's not at it again? I can't find much on the registrand of the domain.

PPRuNe Pop
2nd Feb 2011, 14:40
We do not discuss Halstead any more on PPRuNe.

Good reasons for that.