Sir Richard Branson says he has accepted Willie Walsh’s “bet” over the continuity of the Virgin Atlantic brand, with the loser receiving “a knee in the groin” at the winner’s headquarters.
Earlier this week IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh suggested that the Virgin Atlantic brand might disappear if Delta purchased a stake in the carrier (see online news December 10).
Branson responded by challenging BA to a £1 million bet on the subject, to which Walsh retorted that he would prefer to wager “a knee in the groin”.
With Delta now confirming plans to purchase a 49 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic, Branson said in his blog and Twitter pages that he accepts Walsh’s challenge, with the loser to receive “a knee in the groin” at the winning airline’s headquarters.
One of Branson’s Twitter posts simply said:
“We’ve got used to BA hitting below the belt over the years, but it would be the other way around on this occasion.”
It’s not the first time Branson has challenged a fellow airline boss to a bet. Last year he said he would dress up as an Air Asia stewardess if the then Formula 1 Virgin Racing Team ended behind the Lotus Racing Team (owned by Air Asia boss Tony Fernandes) in that season’s F1 standings.
Lotus Racing finished 10th while Virgin Racing came in last, but to Business Traveller‘s knowledge the charitable dressing up event has yet to take place.