Virgin Atlantic's president Richard Branson said on Friday that his airline was ready for a price war, if need be in the Indian market. Rivals such as Jet Airways have cut prices as Virgin has re-entered Mumbai after three years.
"The great news for the consumer is that when Virgin flies somewhere, prices crash," he said, adding, "We will be price competitive if need be. We don't like to fly with empty seats."
Branson also announced the expansion of India operations, saying the British airline would apply to fly to Hyderabad, Bangalore and Goa.
He hinted at the expansion of the code-share agreement with Jet into a bigger alliance.
About buying into Indian carriers, now that India allows 49% foreign investment in aviation, he said "If we see the right opportunity, we will look at it".
On Vijay Mallya, the owner of trouble-ridden Kingfisher Airline, who is dubbed as the Indian version of the fun-loving, unconventional businessman that Branson is, he said ,"I hope he manages to keep the airline flying. I am very happy that the staff will be paid their salaries. He deserves credit for fighting to keep his airline flying."