Operations

Virgin Atlantic to Launch Amphibious Limos

Posted on June 23, 2004

NORWALK, CONN. – Sir Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Atlantic, announced that his airline will offer some of its upper class passengers the option of taking a traditional limousine or the Gibbs Aquada, when traveling to and from London's Heathrow Airport.

The Aquada water limo will enable passengers to beat street traffic by taking the Thames.

Speaking in Calais, France, after setting a new Guinness world record for crossing the channel in the new amphibian vehicle, the Gibbs Aquada, Branson said, “For many years our upper class passengers have enjoyed our complimentary limousines to and from the airport. Some people prefer our limo bikes [chauffeured motorbikes]. But we are now planning to go one step further, by introducing the chance to experience a Gibbs Aquada.”

He added, "Just as with our existing limos, those passengers traveling by Gibbs Aquada will be met off their flights by a chauffeur who will drive them to their home, hotel or office. But unlike our other limos, when the Gibbs Aquada hits traffic on its way to or from central London, the driver simply heads for the nearest slipway and takes to the Thames before rejoining the roads on the final leg of the passenger’s journey.”

Branson predicted, “Using the Gibbs Aquada, we will be able to cut 20 and 30 minutes off the journey between Heathrow and the city.” He said, “Most Londoners think that the Thames is vastly underused, and with the Gibbs Aquada's revolutionary technology, we may see many more people using the river to get around.”

Gibbs Technologies Chairman Alan Gibbs said the Gibbs Aquada represents the first road-legal, high-speed sports amphibian. Neither a boat with wheels nor a waterproof car, it is capable of speeds up to 100 mph on land and in excess of 30 mph on water, moving between surfaces at the touch of a button.

Virgin Atlantic plans to introduce the service in late summer. For more information, or to view the amphibian visit www.aquada.co.uk

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