Difference Between Virgin Atlantic and British Airways

Aviation Companies are one of the major ways that individuals around the world are connected. People around the world can easily travel to their preferred destinations through airlines.


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One would always like to choose an enjoyable and dependable airline to travel to. Two of the most popular and preferable airlines around the world are Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. 

Virgin Atlantic vs British Airways 

The difference between Virgin Atlantic and British Airways is that Virgin Atlantic came into force and started its operations as a private limited company and British Atlantic was born by the merger of four companies thus it became a government-owned company in 1974 however its privatization took place in 1987. 

Virgin Atlantic vs British Airways

Virgin Atlantic was founded in 1984. The Airways was originally founded by Alan Hillary and Randolph Fields.

Initially, the airline was named British Atlantic Airways. The Airways was planned to fly between the Falkland Islands and London. 

British Airways is an airline of the United Kingdom which carries the flag of the United Kingdom. The airline was founded on 25 August 1919.

Earlier the Airline was known as Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited, however, in its 55 years its name was changed to British Airways. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Virgin AtlanticBritish Airways
Headquarters The airline Virgin Atlantic is headquartered in Crawley, United Kingdom. The airline, British Airways is headquartered in Harmondsworth, United Kingdom. 
Service Virgin Atlantic provides a full service and is customer-centric.British Airways is a global airline which provides a full service. 
Number of Employees As of 2020, the number of people employed in Virgin Atlantic was 5,000. As per the internet, currently, the airline has about 40,000 employees.
Type of Company Virgin Atlantic is a private limited company. British Airways is a public limited company. 

What is Virgin Atlantic? 

After some time, the name of the Airways was changed to Virgin Atlantic Airways.

After some time changing the name of airways, the company’s shares were sold by Randolph Field over the difference of opinion that took place over the management of company Between Richard Branson and him.

The first flight of the Airways flew to Newark International from Gatwick Airport on 22 June 1984. With Virgin Holidays the airline is managed by Virgin Atlantic Limited, a holding company.

The Virgin Group owns 51 percent of Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited and the rest 49 percent is owned by Delta Airlines. The licenses of Civil Aviation Authority are held by both Virgin Atlantic Limited and Virgin Atlantic International Limited.

These licenses permit Virgin Atlantic Limited and Virgin Atlantic International Limited to work as Virgin Atlantic Airways. More than 20 seats are used for lifting passengers, mail and cargo on the aircraft of Virgin Atlantic Airways.

A hybrid fleet of Boeing and Airbus, is utilized by this airline and the airline provides its services to numerous destinations in the world like Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and North America from its primary hub at Heathrow and secondary hub at Manchester.

From Edinburgh, Belfast, and Glasgow Airways operates its seasonal flights as well.

The aircraft of this Airline comprises three major cabins: Economy, Premium, and Upper Class. In 2017, the airline declared plans to build a joint venture with Air France, however in 2019, it was declared by Airways that the venture would not incorporate stakes in the company.

It was declared by the airline on 5 May 2020 to give up on over 2,500 staff members, by the summer of 2022 the airline would decrease its fleet size and not continue its operations from Gatwick.

What is British Airways? 

British Airways is a global Aviation company. The airline has been carrying passengers from all over the world for the last 100 years.

This airline acts as a link between Britain and the world. British Airways follows easyJet as the world’s second-largest carrier which is established in the United Kingdom.

The airline acquired this spot based on its fleet size, passengers carried by it, and so on.

A holding company, Iberia, which is registered in Madrid, merged with British Airways 2011 which led to formation of International Airlines Group.

British Airways holds the record of generating more than one billion US dollars on its sole air journey in a single year and becoming the first passenger airline to do so. British Airways was formed by the merger of four well known companies.

 In February 1987, the British airways was privatized. Its privatization took place after 13 years of being operated as a state company. The major subsidiary of British Airlines is British Airways City Flyer.

It operates in destinations of the United Kingdom, continental Europe, and Open Skies, which flies between Paris and New York City. In its service of about more than 100 years, the company has never faced any kind of financial crisis. 

Main Differences Between Virgin Atlantic and British Airways 

  1. Virgin Atlantic has a fleet size of 37 aircraft whereas British Airways has a fleet size of 254 aircraft. 
  2. Virgin Atlantic serves more than 35 destinations all over the world while British Airways serves its operations in more than 170 destinations. 
  3. The average fleet age of Virgin Atlantic is about 7.2 years whereas the average fleet age of British Airways is 13.3 years. 
  4. In 2020, Virgin Atlantic fell to 7th position in most popular airlines around the world while British Atlantic topped the chart. 
  5. Virgin Atlantic does not fall under any alliance however One World Alliance has British Airways as its member. 
Difference Between Virgin Atlantic and British Airways


  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-349-24405-8_3
  2. http://luiscabral.net/economics/teaching/virgin.pdf
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