News World Branson says Virgin Atlantic will need UK government help to survive

Branson says Virgin Atlantic will need UK government help to survive

Virgin Atlantic will only survive the coronavirus outbreak if it gets financial support from the British government, the airline’s founder Richard Branson said on Monday.

Virgin Atlantic last month asked the government for emergency financial help in addition to the coronavirus package made available to all British companies, but a deal has not yet been reached.

“We will do everything we can to keep the airline going – but we will need government support to achieve that in the face of the severe uncertainty surrounding travel today and not knowing how long the planes will be grounded for,” Branson said in a blog post to staff.

“This would be in the form of a commercial loan – it wouldn’t be free money and the airline would pay it back.”

Virgin Atlantic is based in the UK and is 51% owned by Branson’s Virgin group and 49% owned by U.S. airline Delta.

Branson, a billionaire, has come under fire from opposition Labour party politicians for asking for support at a time when Virgin Atlantic employees have taken a temporary wage reduction and much of the economy has ground to a halt.

Virgin Atlantic staff have taken a wage cut for eight weeks, which Branson said was a “virtually unanimous” decision by employees and not forced upon them by management.

“I’ve seen lots of comments about my net worth – but that is calculated on the value of Virgin businesses around the world before this crisis, not sitting as cash in a bank account ready to withdraw,” he said.

“Over the years significant profits have never been taken out of the Virgin Group, instead they have been reinvested in building businesses that create value and opportunities. The challenge right now is that there is no money coming in and lots going out.”

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Protest against Chile’s government

A protester gestures while a church is set on fire during a protest against Chile's government, on the one-year anniversary of the protests and...

Millennials get little satisfaction from democracy – Cambridge study

Young people are less satisfied with democracy and more disillusioned than at any other time in the past century, especially in Europe, North America,...

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 40.06 million

More than 40.06 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,113,218​ have died, according to a Reuters...

EU to launch infringement procedures against Cyprus, Malta over “golden passports”

The European Commission on Tuesday will finalize and launch infringement procedures against Cyprus and Malta in relation to their controversial  “golden passport” schemes. The schemes...

US Under Secretary for Economic Growth in Cyprus to discuss “clean” 5G networks

US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, Keith Krach, is paying a working visit to Cyprus and scheduled to...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...