Virgin Atlantic airline files for USA bankruptcy protection

Daniel Fowler
August 6, 2020

Both union leaders Kaine and White criticized the government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison for failing to bail out Virgin Australia.

Virgin Australia is slashing about a third of its headcount, offloading some planes and focusing on shorter flights under its new owner, Bain Capital.

The 3,000 jobs would go as the carrier offloads its fleets of Boeing 777s, Airbus SE A330s and ATR turboprops, as well as low-priced brand Tigerair Australia and its A320s.

Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah revealed that the airline had no choice but to downsize if they hope to survive the pandemic.

"The [prime minister] has seen what the industry will do unassisted - now it needs to get off the bench and save jobs", White said.

The business needed to make changes to ensure Virgin Australia Group would be successful in this "new world", Mr Scurrah said.

Backed by Bain Capital, with more than $100 billion assets under management, Virgin Australia would have "a strong balance sheet to withstand material future shocks to the industry", Scurrah said.

Bain Capital has yet to take legal ownership of Virgin. It closed a base at London's Gatwick Airport and cut about 3,500 jobs.

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There is also now a total of 197,912 total cases of COVID, according to health department officials. Police said two men and two women were injured in the incident but are expected to survive.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk chose to gamble $200 million of taxpayers' money when the government didn't need to ..."

Long-haul worldwide flights remain suspended until the global travel market recovers and its six Airbus A330-200s and five Boeing 777-300ERs will be removed from the fleet.

"Our aviation and tourism sectors face continued uncertainty in the face of COVID-19 with many Australian airports recording passenger numbers less than three percent of past year and ongoing changes to government travel restrictions", said Mr. Scurrah.

The Tiger Air brand will disappear with Virgin saying there is not enough demand in the market to support two carriers. This means it will be ditching its ATR, Boeing 777, Airbus A330, and Tigerair Airbus A320 aircraft. Tigerair will be dumped and Virgin will consolidate its office space.

The airline said while it will not turn into a budget carrier, it seeks to become "the best value carrier in the market". It will keep business class cabins to prevent Qantas holding a monopoly on the market.

Over the past 12 months, the airline said it has worked to unlock its culture and harness the spirit of its people and it will continue to focus on customer service as it moves forward.

Virgin and its new owners Bain Capital says the plan will help re-establish Virgin Australia as an "iconic Australian airline".

3000 workers will leave the airline.

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