Richard Branson mourns Virgin America

Richard Branson

Virgin billionaire Richard Branson reflects on the passing of Virgin America. (Virgin Photo)

The Virgin Group’s billionaire founder, Richard Branson, says “many tears” are being shed over Alaska Airlines’ decision to retire the Virgin America brand in the wake of its $4 billion acquisition.

Branson bid farewell to the brand in a “Dear Virgin America” letter posted online today, even though the brand isn’t likely to be phased out until 2019.

He compared the news of the phase-out to his 1992 sale of Virgin Records for $1 billion, “which we needed to fight off British Airways’ Dirty Tricks campaign to try to put Virgin Atlantic out of business.

“With a lot of things in life, there is a point where we have to let go and appreciate the fact that we had this ride at all,” Branson said. Most of the letter was devoted to a walk down memory lane, from the company’s launch day in 2007, through zany promotions such as an in-flight wedding performed by Branson, an in-flight Skype session with Oprah Winfrey and the annual Chihuahua airlift.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Award-winning science writer, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
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