Gordon Brown yesterday flew to the US from London Heathrow on a cut-price Virgin flight with the almost perfect registration code of ‘G-V FAB’; just one letter out from reading ‘G-B FAB’. Sir Richard Branson provided the flight for the British Prime Minister after Gordon Brown decided not to fly with British Airways after disputes over expensive air fares for official government trips. The feeling at Number 10 Downing Street was that BA has been consistently overcharging for air travel, and that it was vital to find an alternative flight source.
Accompanied by his wife Sarah, Prime Minister Brown flew to New York on the Virgin Atlantic charter flight that is bound to be major publicity boost for Virgin on its 25 year anniversary.
The aircraft was called ‘Penelope’ and the Prime Minister and his wife were met on the runway by the chief executive of the company, Steve Ridgeway. It has been claimed that the price of the flight was a massive 30 per cent less than what British Airways quoted, which translates to a saving of thousands of tax payer pounds.
Gordon Brown was also accompanied by many aides and journalists on the flight. The journey will see the Prime Minister travel onward to the G20 summit in Pittsburgh. This is the first time that the PM has flown with Virgin.