Richard Branson gets frosty over Alaska Air

Richard Branson
Richard Branson, pretends he’s an airplane on the runway after the arrival of Virgin Atlantic’s 787-9 Dreamliner jet from London. (Virgin Atlantic Photo)

British billionaire Richard Branson kicked off Virgin Atlantic’s nonstop service from London to Seattle today with a rhetorical kiss for the Emerald City, but also a verbal kick at Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, which is absorbing another one of the airlines he founded.

First, the kiss: Branson took a star turn on the tarmac after Flight 105’s arrival at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, surrounded by flight attendants bearing Union Jack umbrellas. Wearing blue jeans and a hometown Filson lumberjack jacket, he paid tribute to Seattle’s entrepreneurial bent.

“It’s a city after my own heart,” Branson told a crowd of VIPs and journalists assembled in the airport’s arrival hall. “Very entrepreneurial, some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world live here.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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