Business-only airlines will not survive, says Sir Richard Branson

Business-only airlines such as Eos and Silverjet will not survive the onset of open skies between Europe and the US, according to Sir Richard Branson.

The Virgin group chairman said: “All business-class airlines are losing their shirts. They seem to be failing dramatically.”

He said Virgin Atlantic has no plans to emulate them with business-only services on any route.

Branson said: “We are watching to see if anyone can make money at this, but I do not see a future in it.”

Stansted-based business-only carrier MaxJet collapsed in December.

Branson argued: “There are days when business travellers all go in one direction and other days when they do not travel. So we believe it is better to carry cargo, premium economy and economy passengers as well.”

Virgin Atlantic chief operating officer Lyell Strambi added: “We see airlines popping up all over the place. We suspect these fringe players will find the going hard from next month.”

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