Virgin Hotels eyes UK city sites

Virgin Hotels eyes UK city sites

The fledgling Virgin Hotels business is reported to be expanding into the UK as early as this year.

City sites across the country are understood to be under consideration following the introduction of the brand in the US last year.

Virgin Hotels has opened a property in Chicago and is working on a second hotel in Nashville, with plans to extend the number to six in the US, including one in New York.

It is known that Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson favours a move into the UK, the Telegraph reported.

Virgin Hotels was established in the US on the back of the strength of Virgin America, the domestic airline that floated in New York in November 2014.

It was also boosted by the continued growth of Virgin Atlantic, which has an increasing US focus following Delta Air Lines’ purchase of a 49% stake from Singapore Airlines in 2013.

The project is the brainchild of Josh Bayliss, Virgin’s former general counsel, who became group chief executive in 2011.

Bayliss is also the driving force behind Virgin’s investment in the cruise industry, in which it is partnering with investors including Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, GIC, and Bain Capital.

The partnership plans three ships, with the first to sail from Miami in 2019.

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