Daily Management Review

Richard Branson asks for state support to save his airlines


Billionaire Richard Branson ($ 4.4 billion of wealth according to Forbes Real-Time) said his personal funds and Virgin Group's funds would not be enough to save Virgin Airlines in the UK and Australia in the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. State support will be required to save Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia, Branson wrote in an open letter to Virgin Group employees.

Marco Verch
Marco Verch
The billionaire said that a commercial loan under the guarantee of the British government is required to save Virgin Atlantic. “It will not be free money, and the airline will return it,” Branson promised.

The billionaire, who has been living in the British Virgin Islands for many years, emphasized in a letter that he had left Britain not for tax optimization reasons, but because he and his family love the “beautiful Virgin Islands, and especially Necker Island,” which Branson, as he himself notes, bought when he was 29 years old.

As for his wealth, Branson notes that its size was calculated at the cost of the Virgin Group's business worldwide before the crisis, and this is not about cash in a bank account. Branson stresses that today, his cash and Virgin Group funds go to save as many jobs as possible around the world, with most of this going to Virgin Atlantic. “We have already allocated a quarter of a billion dollars to help our business and protect jobs,” he writes. The businessman emphasizes that this will not be enough. “The problem now is that there is no money, and the costs are large,” he points out.

According to Bloomberg, the UK government has not yet decided on the Virgin Atlantic application for assistance worth hundreds of millions of pounds a few weeks ago. And the Australian government on April 20 informed Virgin Australia that no financial assistance would be provided, the agency writes citing the Australian Financial Review. This is a state loan worth 1.4 billion Australian dollars, which Virgin Australia had counted on to overcome the crisis.

source: forbes.com