Bitter rivals British Airways and Virgin are to become partners for the
first time in a new travel service set to launch on Virgin Radio.
The move could embarrass Richard Branson, who has fought a long legal
battle with BA over its ‘dirty tricks’ campaign. However, Virgin Radio
said Branson has given the deal his backing.
The link-up suggests that Virgin and BA may bury the hatchet.
The travel service is a new expansion of Virgin Radio’s Orange
Directory, which was set up last year to allow listeners to book concert
tickets over the phone.
The advertising and sponsorship deal was originally offered to Virgin
Atlantic, but was turned down. Now Virgin’s rival will be promoted on
air and listeners encouraged to book BA holidays.
Lee Roberts, deputy sales director of Virgin, said: ‘BA is a bigger
partner to have because it has more destinations than Virgin. And now
that it has advertised with us, it opens the door for companies that
compete with other Virgin brands.’