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Richard Branson the peoples champion?

As the battle between Richard Branson and British Airways looks set to move up a notch after the announcement of the proposed merger between British Airways and American Airlines many people are now questioning his motives behind the move. The people's champion, or a business man looking to protect his own patch?

Whatever you make of Richard Branson there is no doubting that once he has made his mind up, the man is not for turning. His battle with British Airways now goes back decades and has been very costly for all parties involved. His latest attempt to derail the proposed merger of the UK and US giants has prompted him to start a massive (and expensive) advertising campaign against the move. But for who's benefit?

There is no doubt that Virgin Airlines has battled very hard to get where it is today on the world stage but British Airways always seems to have more muscle and more clout in the markets. While Virgin suggests that a merger of the two airlines would reduce competition and ultimately see ticket prices rise, it would also squeeze Virgin Airlines at the same time. Depending upon which way you look at the merger we could see reduced ticket prices as costs fall or we could see the Atlantic route taken over by the larger more powerful group and allow them to dictate prices more than they do now.

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