Bran­son to pump in £200m to save his strug­gling air­line

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - Si­mon Foy Tim Wal­lace By and

SIR RICHARD BRAN­SON is set to in­ject £200m into Vir­gin At­lantic as part of a deal to save the em­bat­tled air­line.

The cash boost comes as the car­rier is at­tempt­ing to fi­nalise a broader re­fi­nanc­ing pack­age worth about £1bn.

Delta Air Lines, which owns a mi­nor­ity stake in Vir­gin, will make a £400m com­mit­ment, the Fi­nan­cial Times re­ported. The com­mit­ment is likely to be in the form of de­ferred pay­ments such as brand fees and shared IT and back­of­fice plat­forms.

A spokesman for the car­rier said: “Vir­gin At­lantic has been work­ing on a com­pre­hen­sive, sol­vent re­cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of the air­line to en­sure that we can con­tinue to pro­vide es­sen­tial con­nec­tiv­ity and com­pe­ti­tion to con­sumers and busi­nesses in Bri­tain and beyond.”

The air­line is lean­ing to­wards a res­cue pack­age led by Wall Street hedge fund David­son Kemp­ner Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment, Bloomberg re­ported. A spokesman for David­son Kemp­ner de­clined to com­ment.

The pan­demic has ham­mered the avi­a­tion in­dus­try and its re­cov­ery is ex­pected to be slow as gov­ern­ments con­tinue to en­force travel re­stric­tions.

Busi­ness yes­ter­day warned that Bri­tain’s two-week quar­an­tine rule threat­ens the econ­omy’s abil­ity to bounce back from a deep re­ces­sion and must be re­formed as soon as pos­si­ble.

A sur­vey by the In­sti­tute of Di­rec­tors found 86pc of busi­nesses be­lieve the quar­an­tine will have a neg­a­tive ef­fect on the econ­omy by mak­ing short trips im­pos­si­ble.

As min­is­ters pre­pare to al­low travel to and from some low-risk coun­tries with­out quar­an­tine via an “air bridge” scheme, bosses warned that the pro­pos­als must go ahead with­out fur­ther de­lay.

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