Virgin Atlantic information for bankruptcy defense as airline woes mount

Virgin Atlantic, the European provider founded by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, on Tuesday submitted for credit card debt relief in the U.S. as the toll of the coronavirus on the airline marketplace continued to mount.

The corporation stated it is not technically bankrupt and that it programs to go on to work as it restructures, a system it hopes to total by the conclude of September. Nonetheless, Virgin Atlantic explained in a court docket submitting that it will operate out of dollars and have to shut down by the finish of the thirty day period if it are not able to achieve a deal in advance of then.

“With aid currently secured from the bulk of stakeholders, it is really envisioned that the restructuring prepare and recapitalization will arrive into effect in September,” a firm spokesperson instructed CBS MoneyWatch in a statement. “We continue being confident in the program.”

Virgin Atlantic, which mainly delivers long-haul journey among the United Kingdom and other elements of the entire world, experienced just above 8,500 workers at the stop of 2018, according to enterprise documents. It also experienced $630 million in dollars and about $850 million in extended-term financial debt at the time, the newest publicly available money data for the enterprise, according to FactSet.

The airline’s troubles precede the virus. In 2018, Virgin Atlantic shed virtually $75 million on revenue of $3 billion. The carrier, which is 49% owned by Delta, has sought to negotiate a $1.6 billion refinancing deal with its lenders and buyers. 

As portion of the offer, Branson was on the lookout to shed portion or all of his stake in the airline. He had beforehand asked the British authorities for a bailout. It is the second Branson airline to seek court docket defense considering that the start of the pandemic. Virgin Australia filed for voluntary administration, a different sort of bankruptcy, in April.

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Technically, Virgin Atlantic this week submitted for Chapter 15 protection, a section of the U.S. bankruptcy code for companies that program to continue to operate but have equally U.S. and international traders and loan providers. The business has formerly declared that it prepared to lay off 3,000 employees and reduce operations.


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Virgin Atlantic grounded all of its flights owing to the coronavirus in April and experienced only resumed flights in July. A research Tuesday of Virgin Atlantic’s internet site showed that flights were being still offered to fly from Newark to London in late September, with a round-trip economy ticket costing about $900. But a lot of of the tickets for sale on the web page had been for seats on flights staying operated by Delta and other airways.

Virgin Atlantic’s individual bankruptcy arrives as quite a few airlines announce layoffs and possible furloughs. Also on Tuesday, American Airlines introduced it was featuring early retirement offers to pilots presently on furlough. Very last 7 days, regional provider GoJet, which operates flights for United Categorical, said it prepared to furlough all of its 1,185 personnel, which includes management. 

In accordance to CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave, nearly 83,000 airline staff could face furloughs in the coming months, according to airline regulatory filings. 

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