Click here to listen to Simon Calder's interview with Richard Branson
Virgin Atlantic took off from Gatwick to Newark, New Jersey, on 22 June 1984. The music mogul Richard Branson leased a second-hand Boeing 747, started selling tickets through Virgin record stores, and began to transform travel as he had music retailing.
A quarter-century on, the (now-knighted) founder is still deeply involved in the airline business. He has high hopes for expanding around the world, but warns that if the British Airways-American Airlines tie-up is allowed to go ahead, his airline will be in jeopardy.
Sir Richard Branson was speaking at Heathrow airport exclusively to The Independent's senior travel editor, Simon Calder - who began by asking: What did Branson ever do for us?
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