Virgin Atlantic to retain Virgin brand after strategic review

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Virgin Atlantic will retain its Virgin brand no matter what outcome arises from its strategic review, according to the carrier's director of sales and marketing, Paul Dickinson.

The UK carrier in December hired Deutsche Bank to carry out a review that could result in a sale or see the carrier join an alliance.

"Virgin Atlantic is one of the most successful brands in the world from a branding perspective and I can't see a scenario where the Virgin brand would disappear from the airline," says Dickinson.

Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines are reportedly considering a joint bid for the carrier. Etihad Airways is also reported to be interested in acquiring a stake.

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson commissioned Deutsche Bank to assess the market and his 51% stake in Virgin Atlantic.

"It is in the context of a high number of mergers and acquisitions going on in the marketplace," says Dickinson. Virgin rival British Airways has launched a transatlantic joint venture with American Airlines and Iberia, and recently merged with Iberia.

Dickinson declines to specify a timeframe for the Deutsche Bank review. "It's ongoing and we're awaiting their recommendations," he says.

Virgin Atlantic has used the Virgin branding for its entire 26 year history. "Virgin Atlantic carries one of the best airline brands in the world," says Dickinson. "That won't end."