Virgin and BA clash again in `dirty tricks' row

RUSSELL HOTTEN

Hostilities between Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic and British Airways burst into the open again last night over the final settlement of the four-year "dirty tricks" row.

BA issued a statement that Virgin had agreed to pay it pounds 398,000 in costs, concluding the companies' dispute over alleged computer misuse.

Virgin's pounds 29m claim for damages against BA never got to court in the UK. Virgin brought the action against BA as an off-shoot of the dirty tricks affair, which saw BA pay Mr Branson libel damages in an out-of- court settlement.

In the computer misuse case, each side had agreed to pay a proportion of the other's costs. Virgin accepted a settlement of pounds 265,000 from BA last year and has now agreed to pay pounds 398,000 of its own. Virgin's spokesman, Will Whitehorn, said the UK settlement was agreed last year and claimed that BA was trying to pretend that Richard Branson's company was backing down.

BA sources expressed extreme irritation at the comments, saying they were fed up with Virgin trying make political capital out of the matter that was now over.

Virgin is still pursuing an anti-trust case against BA in the American courts and believes the dirty tricks issue will be an important part of the background.

But BA says the dirty tricks affair is now over and the US action is a separate issue.

Bob Ayling, BA's chief executive, said: "I am pleased that since 1993 there has been a more normal relationship between the two companies. I hope this will now continue because today's agreement finally closes off the issues between us in the UK."

Mr Ayling said the three outstanding complaints against BA in Virgin's US case were "without merit" and that the case would not take place for at least two years.

Virgin said that the whole matter of the computer misuse case had been settled a year ago - and then only so Virgin's US court case could go ahead.

Mr Whitehorn said: "As BA well know, the action in the US does include as its background the dirty tricks affair and other activities BA has since taken in the market place. We shall carry on with our American case and we hope it will go ahead by the end of this year."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Foreign Exchange Dealer - OTE £40,000+

£16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Foreign Exchange Dealer is re...

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones