Branson growth plans to create 6,000 jobs

Last updated at 16:12 05 August 2004

Sir Richard Branson today announced that he planned to double the size of Virgin Atlantic over the next five years so that by around 2009 the airline will be carrying some eight million passengers a year.

He also said he is placing firm orders for 13 new aircraft in a £3 billion deal. Virgin has opted for the Airbus 340-600 whose wings are built in Britain by Airbus UK.

When announcing his expansion plans, Sir Richard said that around 6,000 jobs would be created by Virgin over the next few years, with the majority of new posts coming at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, but possibly as many as a third of them at Manchester.

Virgin celebrates its 20th birthday this year.