Virgin Atlantic airline was founded in
the year 1984. It later commenced to offer its services on 22nd June
1984. It is a British airline. It started its operations as British Atlantic
Airways by its founders Alan Hellary and Randolph Fields to fly between London
and the Falkland islands. Fields had disagreements with Sir Richard Branson
over management issues and sold his shares. The airline changed its name from
British Atlantic Airways to Virgin Atlantic Airways (Airways,
The airline is controlled by Virgin Atlantic Limited. The Virgin Atlantic
Limited is owned by the Virgin group and the Delta Airlines. They own it 51%
and 49% respectively.
The airline uses a mixed fleet of
Boeing and Airbus aircrafts. These are wide wide-bodied aircrafts which carry a
lot of people and cargo, making the airline a favourite for many. It started
using Boeing aircrafts in 2014 and has been purchasing more of them ever since.
Its fleet is operated by Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited and Virgin Atlantic
International Limited. It has 38 aircrafts in its fleet.
It has a main base in London Heathrow.
It also has a secondary base in London Gatwick. From these bases it operates to and from Asia,
Africa, North America and other countries in Europe such as Germany, France and
In 2008, Virgin Group sold 49% stake of
the airline to Singapore Airlines. Later in the year, Singapore confirmed that
the airline was underperforming. This continued up to the year 2010 when it
went back to its feet. In the year 2015 the airline made a profit of 80.1
million euros which was 3% higher than the year 2014. In 2016 they made a
profit of 187.3 million euros which was a 62% increase in profit from the
previous year. In 2016 they had carried 5.4 million passengers (Monitor,
They did not make any losses despite the BREXIT which caused the cost of the
British Pound to decrease its value. The company does not have any known debts
to any international airport, fuel company, airline company or shareholder.
In 2014 though, the airline was
considering temporarily terminating domestic flights. This is because they were
causing them heavy losses as there was low seat occupancy yet the cost of
fueling the planes was very high.
Virgin Atlantic Airways has several
licenses. It has Civil Aviation Authority Type A operating licenses. These are
licenses AOC 534 and AOC 2435. These licenses enable and allow the airline to
transport or ferry people, cargo and mails. They also allow the airline to
operate planes with more than 20 seats.
The airline operates with planes
divided into three class cabins. There is the economy, premium economy and
upper class cabin. Economy class does not have many special features. It is
operated by average travelling passengers. The premium economy is lavish in
style. It has wide seats and enough legroom (Merry, 2001). Premium economy
passengers also enjoy separate check points and check-in areas. The upper class
cabin has comfortable and entertaining features. Seats have televisions and
stereo systems. Beds can convert into full comfortable beds.
The airline uses light weight aircrafts
which reduce fuel consumption. This reduces greenhouse gas emission. Smaller
aircrafts in the airline also use biofuels to reduce the greenhouse effect.
This is very safe as passengers are safer as biofuels are less flammable.
With over 9000 employees, the airline requires
a good management that handles the company well and still continues making
tremendous profits. Virgin Atlantic Airways has a functional structure to
manage employees (Merry, 2001). This means that it
has grouped employees into different functional areas according to their
abilities, knowledge, skills and specialization. There is also a lot of
democracy and Laissez-faire management style in the airline. There is also the use of transformational
leadership in the airline. People and expected and encouraged to actively
participate in making decisions, offering its services and sharing ideas,
comments and opinions for the airline to improve on its performance.
There is Craig Krieger, chief
executive. Shai Weiss, vice president and chief commercial officer. Philip
Maher, executive vice president of operations. Mark Anderson, executive vice
president in charge of travellers and customers. Dan Langford, senior vice
president in charge of technology (Merry, 2001). These senior
officials work together to ensure effective management and success of the
By the year 2016 December it had over
9580 employees. These employees consist of managers, flight attendants,
captains, pilots, nurses, engineers, directors and technicians. They operate
from different parts. Some are in the main and secondary base while others are
in their designated work posts in different locations such as London, Lagos and
FUTURE OF THE AIRLINE
The airline has quit a bright future
ahead of it. It is planning to expand
its operations to the Asian market (Monitor, 2000). This is because
they a lot of demand in the Asian market and they feel there is potential
profit in the Asian market. Merging with Singapore Airlines also makes them
more acceptable in the Asian market than other foreign airlines. They plan on
increasing their fleet of airplanes to avoid inconveniencing customers and
causing air and airport traffic. They plan to buy an Airbus A350-1000 which
will cost them 4.4 billion dollars. This will improve their effectiveness. It
will also assist them in fully venturing other markets such as Asia.
Their flights from United States to the
United Kingdom are likely to increase. This is because business between the two
countries is growing day by day, most people preferring to travel using Virgin
Atlantic Airlines as they offer professional services, providing amicable
hospitality (Merry, 2001). The airlines
intends on increasing international offices as they feel they will have brought
services closer to the people and make them feel they have brought their
services closer. The airline might re-brand to Virgin Pacific Airlines. In case
they venture into the Asian market, they might re-brand their name, for the
Asians to also feel they are part of the airline. (Monitor, 2000)This will increase the routes they
cover, making the people of the global market more aware of their brand
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