Richard Branson: "Business travel is all about getting the details right"

By David Flynn, May 4 2011
Richard Branson:

Following today's launch of the new Virgin Australia, we asked Richard Branson how business travel has changed over the years – and what does it take to get it right?

"It's all about the details" Branson says. "Every single little detail has to be right. For the amount of money people pay for business class, they should expect that They want everything, every box ticked."

"I travelled on business class last night" Branson says of Virgin Australia's inaugural Airbus A330 flight into Sydney – and with a touch of wry humour, adds "I was fortunate to get a seat" – but he told Australian Business Traveller that he talks to passengers and crew about all those details.

"I get out my notebook and talk to the passengers, make notes, then I talk to the staff and make notes. Fortunately, right across Virgin, we've got people who want to get every detail right."

"When we started off 26 years ago in the airline business, travelling in a business airline anywhere in the world was dire - absolutely dreadful" Branson recalls. "The experience was not better than economy class, which was also dire."

Today, Branson says, his Virgin empire in the UK and America offer the best business class. "And because they do that we can afford to be competitive in the back end of the plane. What we want to do is replicate this in Australia, and have the best business class as well as the best economy class."

This is just part of Australian Business Traveller's comprehensive coverage of Virgin Australia's launch day:

For the very latest, check back at or follow us on Twitter: @AusBT.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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