Air Transport World

Branson upbeat on 2004 US airline launch.(Virgin Atlantic Chairman Richard Branson)(Brief Article)

Virgin Atlantic Chairman Richard Branson said that he "very much hopes" to launch a US-based low-fare airline this year and will be "very disappointed if we can't." Speaking at Mojave Airport at the Jan. 8 rollout of the Burt Rutan-designed Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, which will attempt a solo circumnavigation of the globe later this year, Branson said Virgin will accept a minority ownership position in the new airline in hopes that US law will change to permit it to have a majority stake, US law limits non-US voting equity to 25% and total foreign investment to 49%.

Separately, sources told ATW that Virgin has narrowed its choice of locations for its proposed carrier to one of three cities: Boston, Washington or San Francisco. …

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