Virgin Atlantic Decide over Star Alliance or SkyTeam

1st Nov 2012

Joining any alliance with other major airlines in the world may not be an immediate concern for Virgin Australia for now but its UK counterpart, Virgin Atlantic, is grooming itself to become the latest member of either of the world's two largest airline clubs early next year.

Sir Richard Branson, speaking to Bloomberg Television in India, was quoted as saying that though Virgin Atlantic has remained independent for much of its history as a global brand until recently when it has decided it?s high time to join in the club. Sir Branson was in India recently to launch the airline's London-Mumbai service over the weekend.

His reluctance to join in any alliance has never been disclosed to the media but during his visit to India, he candidly admitted to the media that it might be good for the airline to be allied with other global carriers.

Though Branson didn't disclose the name which alliance his airline is aiming to join, one thing is sure, it's either SkyTeam of Star Alliance. Many people never picked Oneworld as a possible candidate knowing Branson's dislike of another UK-based member, British Airways.

The reason why many people speculate that Virgin Atlantic would join Star Alliance is because Virgin Atlantic's partner, Singapore Airlines, is also a member.

Airline alliances aim to have a seamless network of global routes crisscrossing a vast area of the globe being served. Admission to the alliance requires more than being 'friends'.

But according to Virgin Australia, there's no obvious choice.

There was a wild speculation early this year that Virgin Australia is set to join an airline grouping, specifically Star Alliance. However, CEO John Borghetti denied the rumor and the speculation stopped.

While both Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines bot belong to Star Alliance, this doesn't mean, Borghetti clarified, that his airline is prepping to become a member also.

He reiterated that there's no truth about the speculations or assumptions regarding its plan to join the Star Alliance. He hinted though that its US partner, Delta Airlines is in Sky Team and he thought the world's first and largest airline grouping is a force to reckon with.