Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic has never been part of an alliance, although the airline is 49% owned by Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines. Now, Sir Richard had said in an interview that the airline would be joining an alliance in a matter of month according to a UK newspaper The Telegraph. You can access the article here. Year ago, Sir Richard said in a Forbes interview that the airline would be joining an alliance soon.
Even if the airline would decide to join an alliance, it would probably take about a year before the airline would become a full alliance member. When established carrier Qatar Airways decided to join the oneworld alliance earlier this month, it was expected that the joining process would take 12 to 18 months.
Virgin Atlantic’s arch rival British Airways is a founding member of oneworld alliance. It would then leave Star Alliance and SkyTeam as potential candidates for Virgin Atlantic. Singapore Airlines owns significant amount of the airline currently has ties with Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, SAS, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, and US Airways that are all Star Alliance members. The airline doesn’t have a single SkyTeam member airline currently as its frequent flyer partner.
Virgin Atlantic has been a non-alliance airline since its inception and Sir Richard has always been anti alliance, but apparently he has changed his mind at some point in time. Star Alliance would be a logical choice based on the current partners the airline has.