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Company Watch - Virgin Group.

Virgin America's domestic flights concern U.S.. U.S. carriers are asking regulators to look more closely at Virgin America's application to fly domestically. Richard Branson's Virgin Group helped solicit investors, but has had no role in running the airline, according to a regulatory filing. Federal law restricts overseas investment in airlines for national security reasons. Apr 27, 2006

Virgin Atlantic Airways launched four-times-weekly flights between London Heathrow and Dubai using A340-600 and A340-300 aircraft. Frequency will rise to daily from June 1. Dubai is Virgin's first Middle East destination. Apr 26, 2006

Virgin Train' chief proponent (and chairman) Sir Richard Branson was on hand last week to endorse Virgin CrossCountry to retain the franchise. The founder of the Virgin Group used the opportunity to unveil plans to run trains every 20 minutes between Manchester and London by 2008, the highest frequency anywhere in the world for a journey of more than 200 miles on a route used by more than one operator. Three services an hour will run between Birmingham and London under plans being finalized with Government and Network Rail. He noted that passenger numbers on Virgin West Coast have increased from 13.6m 1997/98 to 18.7m in 2005/6, while numbers on Virgin CrossCountry have grown from 12.6m to 20.4m over the same period. The biggest growth in passenger numbers on Virgin West Coast has been on the Manchester - London route where rail has taken a majority of the rail-air market. From having just one-third of the rail-air market before launching a half-hourly timetable, Virgin West Coast now has nearly two-thirds of the market. Since the new timetable was launched in September 2004, the number of rail journeys has increased 105% whilst air travel between the two cities has declined according to CAA figures. Apr 30, 2006
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Publication:Airguide Online
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:May 1, 2006
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