/Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Heathrow back Virgins bailout bid

Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Heathrow back Virgins bailout bid

Published on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Heathrow Airport have written to the UK government asking it to provide financial support to Virgin Atlantic.

It comes after the airline asked for a £500 million package of loans and guarantees to ensure it can survive the coronavirus pandemic.

A letter from Rolls-Royce, seen by the Financial Times, tells the transport secretary Grant Shapps that Virgin’s business is ‘of significant importance to Rolls-Royce, our extensive UK supply chain, and manufacturing operations’.

Another letter from Airbus warns that Virgin’s collapse could have an ‘extremely negative impact’ on its A330 programme.

Heathrow airport has also sent a letter on behalf of the Virgin, according to reports.

It is believed Virgin made a submission on Tuesday to the government for a package of financial support according.

Its founder, Sir Richard Branson, has already pledged to inject $250 million into the Virgin empire, some of which will go to the airline.

Virgin Atlantic has led calls for a £7.5billion industry rescue package for the entire UK aviation sector but the UK chancellor last week told airlines to explore other options before asking for state aid.

He said any assistance would be considered on an individual basis and would not be industry wide.

Virgin is requesting commercial loans which would help it cover fixed costs over the coming months, such as refunds to passengers and airport parking charges.

It is also seeking a guarantee that would stop credit card companies from holding back passenger revenues for future bookings from the airline, which has further damaged Virgin’s liquidity.

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