Virgin Charter: Ready for Takeoff

In a bid to make luxury travel an upscale commodity, Virgin Group is launching what it hopes will become the Priceline of the private aviation industry

Last December, Scott Duffy got the kind of offer every entrepreneur dreams of receiving. The 37-year-old former dot-com executive had been trying to raise funds for an online booking site for charter aircraft. Coincidentally British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, had been studying the same opportunity. That's when Duffy says the Branson camp called with a tantalizing offer: "We want to give you much more money than you ever imagined you'd need, and we'll put all of our marketing behind it." Duffy quickly forgot about other investors. "It wasn't even a choice," he says.

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