The days of renegade entrepreneurs in airlines industry is over, at least in the Western Hemisphere, and all options have to be on the table, as Virgin Atlantic's moves show.
Virgin Atlantic is likely to join the SkyTeam global airline alliance following its transatlantic joint venture with Delta. In an interview with FT, chief commercial officer Julie Southern says it will “probably make sense” for Virgin to become a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, although she stresses no final decision has been taken. SkyTeam could also make Virgin more attractive to its customers because business passengers get the chance to use the airport lounges of other airlines in the alliance, and redeem their frequent flyer points on these carriers.
“Being able to compete with BA-AA is pretty important to us . . . As others join together, it’s not that we wouldn’t have had a future, but it would have been a more and more challenged future.”