a close-up of a plane

Virgin Atlantic appears to have done what many deemed impossible for the airline, securing £1.2 billion in private funding to ensure future flying. At its worst, Virgin Atlantic’s flying schedule was down 98% during the pandemic, with many wondering if the airline could, or ever would fly again.

Now, it absolutely will, against all odds, including a failed effort from UK  government to create meaningful support for airlines and the broader travel industry, while the rest of Europe, Asia, The United States and beyond dumped billions upon billions in. Here’s a look at the new financing, and when you’ll see a Virgin Atlantic plane headed your way…

a pink room with monitors and windowsVirgin Atlantic’s £1.2 Billion Financing Package

Virgin Atlantic will receive £1.2 billion in privately arranged funding over the next 18 months, as agreements have been reached with past creditors, new investors and airline partners, and perhaps most vitally, a new £200 million investment from the Virgin Group.

On the news, Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss proclaimed “While we must not underestimate the challenges ahead and the need to continuously respond to this crisis, I know that now, more than ever before, our people are what sets us apart. I have been humbled by their support and unwavering solidarity throughout. The pursuit of our vision continues and that is down to each one of them.”

And yes, you care because your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles can now pretty much be deemed safe, at least for a good while.

Richard Branson launched Virgin Atlantic the same year of the birth of his daughter and has often been quoted as seeing the airline as one of his babies, unwilling to give up on it at any cost.

Now, the airline has released the details of the new financing package, which comes in addition to £280 million in annual cost savings, produced by condensing down to one London base at Heathrow, and making difficult layoffs early on to steady the ship.

  • Shareholders are providing c.£600m in support over the life of The Plan including a £200m investment from Virgin Group, and the deferral of c.£400m of shareholder deferrals and waivers
  • Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, a global institutional investment management firm is providing £170m of secured financing
  • Creditors will support the airline with over £450m of deferrals
  • The airline continues to have the support of credit card acquirers (Merchant Service Providers) Lloyd’s Cardnet and First Data.

Reports suggest Virgin Atlantic was able to reach a reasonable agreement with credit card payment providers, who were hoping to hold onto all incoming Virgin Atlantic customer bookings for an extended period, as well as defer aircraft orders to the tune of £880 million.

a group of medical face masks and a pack of wipesVirgin Atlantic: Future Flying, Routes And Aircraft

Virgin Atlantic was already on the edge of operating the youngest fleet in the sky, and with the retirement of the Boeing 747 and Airbus A330-200 fleet, it’ll be even closer. Virgin Atlantic is currently flying a mix of Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, with plans to take additional A350’s and also Airbus A330-900neo aircraft in the next few years.

By 2022, the airline promises to fly the same number of routes as it did in pre-covid times, which if true will be a remarkable feat.

Virgin Atlantic will resume flights from next week, and already laid out a clear cut map of when and where it’ll fly this year and into next, starting with Hong Kong, Los Angeles and New York. Virgin Atlantic was one of the first airlines to introduce care packages for all passengers, including three medical grade masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.

With the positive financing news, passengers will now actually get to use them.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Thank god! (and GSTP)
    At least UK will have one flag carrier we can be less ashamed of

  2. I have a JAL ticket FC using VA miles that was scheduled for June-July. The last email I received said that I was in the queue for rebates of taxes and miles. That was over 2 months. When will they keep their word?

  3. Virgin who?, Virgin Stiffers I think. I bought a ticket towards the end of May 2020, I got a very good deal after checking the Internet, went on to the Virgin Stiffers web site, they confirmed my ticket and took my money. Then with covid troubles looming my shared flight with Delta was cancelled and Virgin sent to me a web site link to with the famous button link that did not work anytime !!! I tried it on 4 friends laptops and it still did not take me to a re-book your flight link. I then contacted the Virgin executive team and a helpful lady said she would re-book the flight but said Virgin had switched to Air Transport , she sent to me a new booking using the same booking reference, and that was cancelled too later. I found out the original booking reference sent to me was bogus so I had no chance at all, checking Delta their flight same time same departure was offering economy tickets at $3,200 , I had paid $564 , now please know I could not contact anyone via whatever Virgin suggested I should do in an emergency, only the lady in the executive team tried. I think skulduggery was happening at Virgin in the USA, and to cap all I have written I am still waiting for a refund , shame on Virgin Stiffers

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