Virgin Atlantic

New plans for Virgin Atlantic to be unveiled at WTM; celebrating 30 years in business

LONDON – Virgin Atlantic boss Craig Kreeger will tell delegates at World Travel Market (WTM) – the leading global event for the travel industry – about plans for the airline’s future, as it celebrates 30 years in the business.

Founded by Sir Richard Branson in 1984, the transatlantic carrier now has a fleet of 40 long-haul aircraft, flying six million passengers a year all over the world.

But it has reached a pivotal moment in its history, having incurred heavy losses in recent years and seeing Delta Air Lines replace Singapore Airlines as a major shareholder.

Now it seeks to capitalise on its strong position at London’s Heathrow Airport, maximise the benefits of its tie-up with Delta and prepare for the arrival in October of its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner long-haul aircraft.

Kreeger replaced Virgin veteran Steve Ridgway as Chief Executive in February 2013, after a 27-year career at American Airlines.

He will participate in the third WTM airline seminar, which is on Wednesday 5 November, as part of WTM’s in-depth coverage of the aviation market.

Delegates will be keen to hear how he is cutting costs at the airline, without affecting its famous customer care ethic and image.

Kreeger has also been vocal about the industry’s lobbying efforts, Heathrow congestion and controversial policies such as Air Passenger Duty, so these topics will be on the agenda.

WTM will host other aviation seminars at ExCeL with top airline bosses lined up to speak, including Wizz CEO Jozsef Varadi, Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs, and Chris Browne, Chief Operating Officer of Aviation TUI Leisure.

World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “World Travel Market saw a record number of delegates attend the events programme last year, and with top-notch speakers such as Jozsef Varadi, Kenny Jacobs, Chris Browne  and Craig Kreeger in 2014, we expect to break that record again.

“Delegates will be able to hear first-hand from Kreeger how his pioneering airline aims to keep innovating as it recovers.

“Attracting such speakers demonstrates the importance of WTM to the industry and the role it plays in bringing people together.”

• The aviation seminar with Craig Kreeger of Virgin Atlantic will take place in Platinum Suites 3 and 4 on Wednesday 5 November from 11.30 – 12.30.

About World Travel Market

World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.

More than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.

WTM, now in its 35th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals.

WTM 2013 generated more than £2.2 billion of travel industry contracts, revealed independent research by Fusion Communications.

WTM is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions (RE), which organises a portfolio of other travel industry events including Arabian Travel Market and International Luxury Travel Market.

In 2013, RE held more than 500 events in 40 countries bringing together more than six million people from around the world generating billions of dollars in business.

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