Speaking on the day of his airline's inaugural flight between London-Heathrow and Nairobi, Kenya, Virgin Atlantic chief Sir Richard Branson recently announced the launch of a business-only airline that would connect London and various European destinations with the US. Branson said that the airline "would provide choice and quality for the customer" and would hopefully be up and running in nine to 18 months.
The airline wouldn't be a fully separate entity; it would probably be an airline within an airline (Branson did say that the airline would be under the Virgin Atlantic name). The London airport was not yet mentioned - Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, or Stanstead are all possibilities. Like arch-rival British Airways' newly announced service, Virgin's will connect London, Paris, Milan, Frankfurt and Zurich with the US (probably New York). "We've got to compete in this area," said Branson. "The service will be of the highest quality and will be competitive in terms of price." Virgin will also have to go up against airlines like Silverjet, Maxjet, Eos, and L'avion, all of which offer premium trans-Atlantic service.
Virgin is also reportedly in talks with aircraft manufacturers Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer over a new aircraft order for up to 15 airplanes.