Branson and his family is worth an estimated £4.5 billion in this year’s The Sunday Times Rich List, which gives him a ranking of 29th overall in the UK – down from 23rd place a year ago.
Another airline entrepreneur, easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou saw his family’s fortune increase by £1 billion year-on-year to reach £2.95 billion, thanks mainly to a rise in easyJet’s shares and dividends over the past year. Haji-Ioannou is ranked 48th overall compared with 64th in 2017.
Other travel industry figures to feature in the list (105th) include the Matharu siblings, who own Grange Hotels in the UK, and have an estimated worth of £1.3 billion – up by £283 million year-on-year.
Saga founders Sir Roger and Peter De Haan now have a fortune of £890 million (158th) while Bourne Leisure’s Peter Harris is worth £800 million (167th).
Southall Travel’s Kuljinder Bahia ranked 300th on the list with a value of £427 million, which was a rise of £7 million on 2017’s figure.
Other notable figures include Philip Meeson, executive chairman of Jet2.com’s owner Dart Group, who is worth an estimated £403 million – a valuation that has risen by £107 million over the past year.
Trailfinders’ founder Mike Gooley has seen his fortune rise by £20 million to reach to £380 million.