Virgin Atlantic information for personal bankruptcy defense as airline woes mount

Virgin Atlantic files for bankruptcy protection as airline woes mount

Virgin Atlantic, the European carrier established 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 field ongoing to mount.

The corporation explained it is not technically bankrupt and that it ideas to continue on to function as it restructures, a process it hopes to total by the end of September. Nonetheless, Virgin Atlantic said in a courtroom filing that it will run out of cash and have to shut down by the close of the month if it cannot reach a deal just before then.

“With assistance now secured from the the vast majority of stakeholders, it can be predicted that the restructuring approach and recapitalization will arrive into impact in September,” a corporation spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch in a statement. “We remain assured in the approach.”

Virgin Atlantic, which principally presents long-haul travel in between the United Kingdom and other areas of the world, experienced just about 8,500 workers at the conclude of 2018, in accordance to firm information. It also had $630 million in hard cash and about $850 million in extensive-phrase personal debt at the time, the most up-to-date publicly offered monetary data for the corporation, in accordance to FactSet.

The airline’s problems precede the virus. In 2018, Virgin Atlantic missing approximately $75 million on income of $3 billion. The provider, which is 49% owned by Delta, has sought to negotiate a $1.6 billion refinancing deal with its creditors and investors. 

As section of the deal, Branson was on the lookout to lose section or all of his stake in the airline. He experienced previously asked the British governing administration for a bailout. It is the next Branson airline to look for courtroom protection since the start off of the pandemic. Virgin Australia filed for voluntary administration, a further type of bankruptcy, in April.

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Technically, Virgin Atlantic this week submitted for Chapter 15 defense, a part of the U.S. individual bankruptcy code for organizations that approach to continue on to work but have the two U.S. and international investors and creditors. The corporation has earlier announced that it prepared to lay off 3,000 personnel and minimize operations.


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Virgin Atlantic grounded all of its flights because of to the coronavirus in April and had only resumed flights in July. A look for Tuesday of Virgin Atlantic’s web-site confirmed that flights ended up still accessible to fly from Newark to London in late September, with a spherical-journey financial system ticket costing about $900. But lots of of the tickets for sale on the site were being for seats on flights being operated by Delta and other airways.

Virgin Atlantic’s individual bankruptcy comes as a lot of airways announce layoffs and doable furloughs. Also on Tuesday, American Airlines introduced it was supplying early retirement packages to pilots presently on furlough. Previous week, regional provider GoJet, which operates flights for United Categorical, mentioned it prepared to furlough all of its 1,185 workforce, which includes management. 

According to CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave, almost 83,000 airline staff could experience furloughs in the coming months, in accordance to airline regulatory filings. 

Sarah Gracie

About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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