Alaska Airlines is killing off Virgin America and Richard Branson says it’s OK to cry

Alaska Airways has announced they’re killing off the Virgin America mannequin sometime in 2019.

Sad? Offended? You’re not alone.

Richard Branson, founding father of Virgin America, merely penned a love letter saying “tears were shed today” and memorializing all the great points Virgin America had achieved sooner than the merger.

In a blog post asserting the selection, Alaska took four paragraphs of rambling sooner than gathering the braveness to announce the harmful data. Significantly the airline said they’ve “made the difficult decision to retire the Virgin America name and logo likely sometime in 2019”.

Alaska bought the Virgin America mannequin remaining 12 months for $2.6B, making the combined entity the fifth-largest airline by website guests.

Whereas Alaska has a loyal purchaser base (primarily throughout the Pacific Northwest), they undoubtedly aren’t as cherished as Virgin America, which has been ranked the best domestic airline for the ultimate eight years.

So it makes primarily zero sense why Alaska would shell out cash (and raise $2B in financing) to buy essentially the most well-liked airline then resolve to kill it off the mannequin in a lot of years.

Alaska said they’re planning on incorporating the easiest parts of Virgin right into a model new refreshed fleet starting in 2019. Nonetheless part of what made Virgin so cherished was its purchaser service-focused custom, which is one factor no amount of newest “expressive blue mood lighting” will help recreate.

To supply them credit score rating, Alaska moreover says they’ll add faster satellite tv for pc television for laptop WiFi and refreshed seats, which is ready to help ease the transition.

Whereas we’ll try to take care of an open ideas, it’s typically not an excellent sign when firms assume they are going to slap some mood lights on one factor and recreate a convention that’s distinctive from one other agency of their commerce.

It is a sad (& some would say baffling) day. @VirginAmerica was the journey & love of a lifetime, nevertheless @Virgin flies on https://t.co/cgRnzQPIOa pic.twitter.com/8Q0nPsrvkc

— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) March 23, 2017