Virgin Atlantic Airways
Jump to Virgin Atlantic Airways: Alerts;
- Virgin Atlantic is the first commercial airline to have flown a jumbo jet partly powered by biofuel. The flight took place in 2008 between London and Amsterdam.
- In 2002, Virgin Airlines was forced to settle a religious discrimination suit after refusing an employee's request for time off for religious purposes.
- Virgin Atlantic belongs to an industry organization that opposed a carbon dioxide cap and trade system for airlines in the European Union. Later, the company teamed with British Airways and other airlines to make its own proposal for greenhouse gas regulations.
-- Profile Updated 07/15/2009
About Virgin Atlantic Airways
Virgin Atlantic Airways is part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group of companies. Operating out of its hubs in the United Kingdom at Heathrow, Gatwick, and Manchester, Virgin Atlantic serves 30 destinations with its fleet of over 35 aircraft. The popular airline has a code-sharing relationship with carriers worldwide such as Air China, Continental Airlines and Singapore Airlines. Code-sharing agreements allow airlines to sell tickets on each other’s flights, offering customers more destinations. In 2007, Virgin Atlantic employed 8,500 people worldwide and reported $3.11 billion in sales.
There are no known affiliates associated with Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Contact Virgin Atlantic Airways
Virgin Atlantic Airways
West Sussex, RH10 9NU United Kingdom
• Virgin Atlantic pledged to recycle or reuse 50% of all waste generated on flights by 2012. Currently the company recycles aluminum cans in on domestics flights and some international flights. Plastic cups are collected to be recycled by the Save A Cup Foundation. In-flight magazines are put in plastic covers to extend lifetime; and when the magazine is no longer current those in good condition are donated to hospitals and other reception areas. In addition amenity kits passed out on flights are partially reused. Products that cannot be used on other flights such as old dining linen, socks, and sleep masks are washed and donated. Virgin Atlantic's duty free bags are recyclable and made from recycled materials. Finally, Virgin Atlantic is encouraging suppliers to reduce waste in packaging.
-- Virgin Atlantic, 07/15/2009
• In April 2009, Virgin Atlantic teamed with Air France-KLM, British Airways, two airline groups and the United Kingdom’s main airport operator to form the Aviation Global Deal Group. The coalition pitched a carbon dioxide cap and trade system for the aviation industry to world leaders that were meeting in Bonn for U.N. climate change talks. Aviation emissions are currently not regulated under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change or the Kyoto Protocol, but a new round of negotiations in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 could include a cap and trade system similar to the one proposed by the group of airlines. The AGDG’s proposal represents a departure from the norm for the airline industry, which has previously spoken out against emissions reduction requirements.
-- Bloomberg News, 04/06/2009
• Virgin Atlantic Airways is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a global group of airlines and airports. The IATA has staunchly opposed plans for a carbon emissions trading system in the European Union that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of global climate change. The organization has argued that such a scheme would be prohibitively expensive for the airlines and make it more difficult to retain profits. At the same time, Virgin Atlantic has also spoken in support of a carbon cap and trade system for the airline industry.
-- New York Times, 02/11/2009
• In February 2008, Virgin Atlantic became the first commercial airline to fly an aircraft partially powered by biofuel. A 747 jumbo jet flew between London’s Heathrow and Amsterdam with one of its four engines getting 20 percent of its power from a fuel derived from a mixture of coconuts and babassu nuts. Sir Richard Branson, president of the Virgin Group, said that the flight was an important step towards reducing carbon emissions and cutting reliance on fossil fuels. Some environmentalists criticized the move, pointing out that some studies have shown that biofuels do not actually significantly reduce emissions. Dr. Doug Parr of Greenpeace argued that Virgin should focus on halting “relentless airport expansion” instead of pursuing potentially ineffective biofuels projects.
-- BBC News, 02/24/2008
Source URL: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7261214.stm
• In 2006, Sir Richard Branson pledged to invest $3 billion over ten years in renewable energy technologies. The Virgin president said that the investment is necessary to reducing the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. Through the Virgin Green Fund, the Virgin Group invests in a wide range of renewable energy initiatives, from biofuels and biomass to solar and wind power. The fund also invests in energy efficiency, emissions reduction, and water management projects.
-- BBC News, 09/21/2006
Source URL: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5368194.stm
Ethics and Governance
• In 2006, Virgin Atlantic was investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and Britain’s Office of Fair Trade for an alleged price fixing scheme involving British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, United Airways and American Airlines. Virgin Airways executives brought the scheme to the attention of the British authorities after an executive from British Airways approached them with an offer to fix prices for international cargo rates and passenger fuel surcharges. Because Virgin blew the whistle on the plan, it escaped fines and penalties at the conclusion of the investigation.
-- New York Times, 06/26/2006
• In 2002, Virgin Airlines settled a religious freedom case after a former employee filed a complaint with the New York Attorney General’s office. The employee, who worked at John F. Kennedy International Airport, was forced to resign after the company refused to accept his request for time off to celebrate the Sabbath. Under the terms of the settlement, Virgin is required to allow an employee time off for religious observances.
-- New York Times, 04/26/2002
Source URL: www.nytimes.com/2002/04/26/business/26RELI.html
• In January 2008, Virgin Atlantic narrowly avoided strikes after reaching an eleventh-hour deal with Unite, its union of cabin crew members. The workers were planning to hold two 48-hour strikes during January after several months of negotiations failed to produce a pay raise amenable to the airline and the union. Two days before the start of the strikes, Unite agreed to a two-year pay increase proposed by Virgin.
-- Reuters, 01/07/2008