Virgin’s Little Red formally launched today

Virgin Atlantic, the UK-based long haul airline, is formally launching its Little Red domestic subsidiary today.

Although the new airline has been operational since it commenced flights between Manchester and London on March 31, and the Edinburgh service also started on April 5, the airline’s head, Sir Richard Branson, will officially mark the company’s launch today by joining a flight from Heathrow to Edinburgh. The Aberdeen route will commence its service from tomorrow, April 9.

Countering the negative opinion of some commentators that have compared the service available from Little Red with that of the ill-fated BMI, Craig Kreeger, Virgin Atlantic’s recently appointed chief executive, told the Sunday Telegraph, ‘We’ve done this in a way that will work. BMI obviously struggled but they didn’t have the long-haul network to connect to. So it’s a completely different proposition from a business case standpoint to create a short-haul network that feeds a long-haul network the size of ours which gives the capability for it to be successful.’

With regards to Virgin Atlantic’s tie up with US-based Delta Air Lines in December, Kreeger added, ‘From a British customer perspective, we’re going to offer a bunch of new destinations via Delta’s network and that will make us a more attractive airline. But I think equally importantly, Delta will be able to offer our services to their frequent fliers, accounts, and travel agencies in the US, and that is going to lead to increased demand for our products on the US side.

‘Those two things together really will position us to take advantage of the fact that we’ve got great customer service delivery that people want to fly on and now we’ll be able to offer people the opportunity to do more things.’