About the Post

Author Information

Wendy is an IFE Agent responsible for aggregating airline news specifically related to Inflight entertainment. She compiles stories relevant to business travelers, airline industry folks, marketers and tech geeks. IFE News doesn't create original content, but rather posts compelling editorial from global media outlets.

Ridgway Quits as Virgin Atlantic CEO

By Vladimir Guevarra

LONDON—Virgin Atlantic said Chief Executive Steve Ridgway is stepping down after 23 years with the trans-Atlantic carrier, leaving an unenviable task to his successor as the U.K. airline grapples with high fuel prices, tough competition and a sluggish British economy.

Mr. Ridgway said he would lead the search for his successor, who will likely be in place early next year. The airline’s chief commercial officer, Julie Southern, would be “a likely leading internal candidate” to replace Mr. Ridgway, a person in the industry said.

“I’ve seen many great times and a few bad and have always remained firm that we must offer something different to that of our competitors,” Mr. Ridgway said in a written statement Sunday. Richard Branson‘s Virgin Group owns 51% of the carrier, and the rest is held by Singapore Airlines Ltd. C6L.SG +0.38%

Virgin Atlantic recently lost a partner when International Consolidated Airlines Group SA IAG.MC +1.63% acquired British Midland Ltd. from Deutsche Lufthansa LHA.XE +2.47% AG. Bmi, as the regional airline is known, provided Virgin Atlantic with connecting traffic under a code-sharing agreement. IAG is the parent company of Virgin Atlantic’s arch rival British Airways.

Virgin Atlantic, which flies 5.5 million passengers a year, said last month it would start operating flights between Manchester in northern England and London starting early next year.

The resignation of Mr. Ridgway, 62 years old, comes amid a shakeout in Europe’s airline sector. High fuel costs and growing competition on domestic and regional routes from budget carriers have contributed to the financial collapse of small airlines and left many of the region’s flag carriers nursing steep losses.

Consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers recently identified Virgin Atlantic as being among roughly 50 airlines that are in the “squeezed middle” of small and midsize carriers facing the threat of losing market share or being bought by stronger players.

Singapore Airlines declined to comment on Mr. Ridgway’s resignation and possible successors.

Mr. Ridgway joined Virgin Atlantic in 1989 and has been CEO since 2001.


Link to Original Article

Tags: , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: