Western Australia’s Skywest Airlines last month signed a 10-year strategic alliance with Virgin Blue to fly as many as 18 new turboprops to several new destinations around Australia. The agreement will see Virgin Blue and Skywest establish a code-share relationship on a number of sectors of each other’s domestic networks and allows Virgin Blue and Skywest customers to earn and redeem reward points on each other’s networks.
Virgin Charter, the online charter brokerage launched with great fanfare in mid-2007, ceased operations on October 23. “With the severe decline in corporate travel, Virgin Charter was unable to generate sufficient sales to underpin its business plan,” according to a company statement, “and has taken the difficult decision to close its doors.”
Online charter broker Virgin Charter stopped “active operations” on October 23, according to a company statement. “With the severe decline in corporate travel, Virgin Charter was unable to generate sufficient sales to underpin its business plan and has taken the difficult decision to close its doors.” Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin USA launched Virgin Charter in mid-2007, with a focus on allowing charter users to
Online charter broker Virgin Charter stopped “active operations” on Friday according to a company statement.
Virgin Charter has had its fair share of ups and downs over the past few months. The charter marketplace suffered a drop in business in late August and September due to the economic downturn, but transaction activity at Virgin now appears to be steadily rising as a result of a shift in clientele, a new business strategy and several new partnerships.
Virgin Charter today announced that it has partnered with global travel management company Radius, which will use the online marketplace to find and book charter flights for its clients. The news is tempered, however, by reports that Virgin Charter has laid off a number of employees.
Despite its well-known brand name, Virgin Charter has not been immune to the economic downturn. The charter marketplace saw a drop in business last month, and particularly within the last two weeks, according to founder and CEO Scott Duffy. The reported decrease is in line with the drop in revenue reported by a majority of charter operators and brokers. Most indicate that business has dwindled by 10 to 40 percent.
VirginBlue has postponed the launch of its planned V Australia trans-Pacific services, scheduled for December 15, until at least February 28, because the machinists strike at Boeing will delay delivery of the first 777-300ER slated to perform the service.
The recent launch of Sentient Flight Group’s Privatejets.com and Virgin Charter introduced a new element to the charter industry: the ability to book flights online using a process that mirrors that of airline and travel Web sites, such as Expedia and Travelocity.
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