Published on Monday, April 27, 2020

Virgin still in talks with UK Govt

Virgin Atlantic has said it is still in talks with the UK government about help to get through the Coronavirus crisis.

The airline has described the talks as 'ongoing and constructive' but added it is also looking at raising cash from the private sector.

A report in the Sunday Telegraph said Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson is seeking a buyer for the airline and has hired investment bank Houlihan Lokey to help it find additional private investment.

The Department for Transport told Sky News: "The aviation sector is important to the UK economy, and firms can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the chancellor, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees."

A spokesperson added that they were willing to consider individual firms' situations, after all alternatives had been explored, 'including raising capital from existing investors'.

Airline sources told the BBC reports the company had not set an end of May deadline for finding a buyer were not true.

They added: "Because of significant costs to our business caused by unprecedented market conditions which the Covid-19 crisis has brought with it, we are exploring all available options to obtain additional external funding."

Last week, Branson wrote to all employees in the Virgin group of companies, warning Virgin Atlantic would not survive without a Government loan.

See also: Aviation industry facing continuing cash crisis

And: Unite sets out radical rescue plan for aviation

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