Richard Branson says goodbye to a 'great love'

By Elliot Bullman

Gave up control of his airline, because it will ensure the future of what he considers "truly a labour of love."

Billionaire Richard Branson says he is giving up control of Virgin Atlantic Airways so the airline can join what he claims will become "the most important joint venture in aviation."

richard branson virgin atlantic

For Virgin, the agreement means they have won a lifeline after years of difficulties to keep up with British Airways.

Branson, 67, said that the agreement, linked to a broad transatlantic alliance, will allow the British airline to "thrive and grow "in the coming decades as he grows older.

richard branson virgin atlantic2.JPG

The businessman will pay a heavy price for that security by giving the property to the French company and Delta Air Lines, which holds a 49 percent stake, leaving it with only 20 percent of a company launched with cash from its stamp Record label and which he has described as "truly a labour of love".

The $288 million that Air France-KLM will pay for its stake in Virgin Atlantic gives a clue to the British airline's overall lack of position, indicating a valuation of £709 million for the company.

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