Skeptics say the upstart Virgin America airline will have a rough time competing at D/FW Airport, where American Airlines has a take-no-prisoners record of domination. But Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, says Virgin America will be different, in part because his Virgin Atlantic Airways has competed successfully against American in other markets for 25 years.
“We’re as different as chalk and cheese,” the British billionaire said in Dallas last night, pointing to Virgin America’s upscale ambience, among other things. “Once people try us, they stay with us.” So just how long is the newbie prepared to compete in North Texas, profitability concerns aside? “We’ll do whatever it takes to stay here,” said Branson (pictured). “We’re not going to let American Airlines drive us out of business.”