Branson tries to block BA's CityFlyer deal
Friday 27 November 1998
Mr Branson will today lodge a complaint to the competition authorities over the sale of CityFlyer Express to BA. He said the deal would give BA even more dominance at Gatwick, London's second major international airport, as well as controlling the majority of slots at London's biggest hub, Heathrow.
Mr Branson said his airline was approached about buying CityFlyer in the spring and was interested in doing a deal but failed to open talks despite numerous attempts. Mr Branson said he believed BA had an "anti- competitive, pre-emptive right" to CityFlyer which cut out rival offers.
He plans to complain to John Bridgeman, the director general of Fair Trading, at a meeting today. "I will ask him to act decisively," said Mr Branson.
Mr Branson said in a statement that HSBC, the banking group, approached Virgin in the spring to ask if it wanted to buy CityFlyer. "We said we would like to buy it but HSBC never came back to us with a price despite a number of calls."
BA yesterday announced it had agreed to buy CityFlyer, which is one of its franchise operators, for pounds 75m. BA bought the franchisee airline, which operates out of Gatwick, from institutional investors led by venture capital company 3i Group.
"We can only assume that BA has some kind of secret, anti-competitive pre-emption right in their franchise agreement with CityFlyer, and that we were being used as a stalking-horse," said Mr Branson.
Bob Ayling, BA chief executive, said the purchase was "good news for customers, employees and for Gatwick".
Mr Branson yesterday announced plans to recruit 1,500 staff at Virgin Atlantic and its sister companies between now and spring 2000.
elephant appealPrince William signs up for our charity appeal
peoplePrepare to be entranced by worms as the molecular biologist gets ready to give the Royal Institution science lectures
elephant appealSo says man jailed for cutting off dead elephant's tusks
booksWe examine the best titles for teens
voicesPeople moan that Christmas is too commercial, the spirit lost. But it is a time to over-indulge, and always has been, says DJ Taylor
scienceResearchers teach border collie to understand sentences using more than 1,000 words
booksA Christmas story in six parts
travelWill high-value tourism help the workshops of this Renaissance city?
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Top PR exec Justine Sacco under fire for sending racist tweet before flying to Africa
French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
Ten best places to live in the UK: Hart in Hampshire takes top spot
'Untrue statements' anger over work to make H5N1 bird-flu virus MORE dangerous to humans
Paul Walker's daughter Meadow attends Justin Bieber Believe premiere
- 1 Top PR exec Justine Sacco under fire for sending racist tweet before flying to Africa
- 2 French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 The publisher who played with fire: the battle for control of Larsson's £30m legacy
- 5 Police seize possessions of rough sleepers in crackdown on homelessness
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£59999 - £80001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top 10 firm in ...
£50000 - £75000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Project Manage...
£60000 - £90000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
£Negotiable: Citifocus: High calibre individual with institutional client serv...