In Brief

Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic seeking investors to avoid collapse

Airline meeting with private equity firms as talks over government bailout continue

Around “a dozen” investors are reportedly circling Virgin Atlantic as Richard Branson’s embattled airline seeks a £500m rescue from the government.

According to The Times, senior management at Virgin - “part of a sector that has been brought to its knees by the coronavirus”  - will make presentations to a range of investors this week, while also continuing talks with the Treasury and UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

The airline has “ruled nothing out” in its fight for survival and is understood to be “keen to negotiate a financial injection from both the private and public sectors”, the newspaper adds. 

Sky News’s city editor Mark Kleinman says that the airline has also put administrators on standby to handle a potential administration.

The move “does not mean that insolvency is inevitable, but reflects the legal obligation of Virgin Atlantic’s directors to prepare for such an outcome”, Kleinman explains.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For a round-up of the most important stories from around the world - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news agenda - try The Week magazine. Start your trial subscription today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

London-born tycoon Branson owns a 51% stake in the company, with the remainder held by Delta Airlines.

As The Times notes, the proposed government bailout has attracted criticism as Branson has “an estimated personal fortune of £4bn and lives on a tax haven in the British Virgin Islands”.

Last week, Virgin Atlantic revealed plans to cut 3,150 members of its 10,000-strong workforce, and to close its operations at Gatwick Airport.

The carrier had previously asked its staff to take eight weeks of unpaid leave between March and May, as part of cost-cutting measures as the industry reels from the effects of coronavirus travel restrictions.

Recommended

What is going on in women’s prisons?
A female prison officer in HM Prison Styal
Getting to grips with . . .

What is going on in women’s prisons?

Ryan Giggs trial: lockdown ‘utter hell’ for ex
Ryan Giggs outside Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court
In Depth

Ryan Giggs trial: lockdown ‘utter hell’ for ex

Eurovision venue odds: the cities most likely to host the song contest
Kalush Orchestra
In Depth

Eurovision venue odds: the cities most likely to host the song contest

How the UK’s droughts compare with the rest of the world
Low water levels at Baitings Reservoir in West Yorkshire
Global lens

How the UK’s droughts compare with the rest of the world

Popular articles

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial
Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses
Getting to grips with . . .

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 13 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 13 August 2022

The Week Footer Banner