11 January, 2021

Further refinancing for Virgin Atlantic as services reduced

Virgin Atlantic is hurrying a refinancing deal through that will see Griffin Global Asset Management buy two of the airline Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft and then lease them back which will release a further $231 million.  Griffin is a subsidiary company of Bain Capital which has already rescued another Virgin air company - Virgin Australia and is also an investor in the recently launched Virgin Voyages.

According to reports, the majority of the money will be used to pay back Davidson Kempner - the specialist hedge fund that stepped in to help at the height of the first UK lockdown. There will be approximately $70 million left over to help keep the airline going into the middle of the year.

A Virgin spokesperson said: "With the implementation of testing regimes, a reduction in UK quarantine policy and the mass roll-out of vaccines on the horizon, customer demand for travel in 2021 has been gradually returning.

We are confident that Virgin Atlantic will emerge from the Covid-19 crisis a sustainably profitable airline, with a healthy balance sheet."

The airline is currently reducing many of its schedules for the forthcoming season, the Manchester to Barbados route has been axed, at least for the time being with passengers shifted to the London Heathrow service. Heathrow to Los Angeles is being cut to five times a week whilst services to Delhi, Tel Aviv, Mumbai and Antigua will have just two flights a week and Miami will become a weekly rotation. 

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