Virgin Atlantic set to ramp up anti-BA/AA campaign

Virgin Atlantic is planning to ramp up its campaign against British Airways in the wake of reports that it is in talks with Australian rival Qantas Airlines about a potential merger.

Virgin accuses BA of trying to create a monster monopoly through its alliances with American Airlines, Spain airline Iberia and now Qantas.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesman says: “We will do everything possible to make consumers aware of the anti-competitive atmosphere that BA is creating.”

It claims that the proposed deal with Qantas would give BA control over about 43% of routes out of Heathrow to Australia.

The spokesman adds: “While anti-BA/AA will still remain our primary focus, we will extend it to all these merger proposals from BA.”

Virgin is also urging the regulators to scrutinise the AA and Iberia mergers “like never before”, as BA starts a third round of talks.

On Tuesday (December 2), BA confirmed that it is in talks with Qantas over a potential merger, and is proposing a dual-listed company based in both the UK and Australia. It will not affect BA’s revenue-sharing deals with American Airlines and Spanish airline Iberia.

In August, Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic, accused BA of creating a “monster monopoly” through its alliance with American Airlines. He later launched an anti-BA/AA campaign and revealed plans to paint the entire Virgin Atlantic fleet with the slogan “No way BA-AA”.

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