Jobs at risk

Branson calls for £500m loan to save Virgin Atlantic

Richard Branson

Cash plea: Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson has warned the government that his Virgin Atlantic airline will collapse unless it receives taxpayer support.

The tycoon is seeking a loan, believed to be up to £500 million, following a £600m loan granted to easyJet.

Without receiving support, he says thousands of jobs will be lost.

However, the airlines – particularly those run by billionaires – are meeting resistance from the public and government alike who feel they should raise funds independently. Scottish tycoon and former Dragons’ Den panelist Duncan Bannatyne last month criticised billionaires for demanding taxpayer support.

Sir Richard’s pleas come as Poland and Denmark take measures to exclude tax haven companies from coronavirus relief schemes.

The Danish government announced this weekend that companies which pay out dividends, buy back their own shares or are registered in offshore tax jurisdictions, will not be eligible for any of the state aid programmes.

Sir Richard, the UK’s seventh richest person with an estimated £4.7bn fortune, has offered to put his private Caribbean island up as collateral in his attempt to persuade the UK government to save the business.

He lives on Necker Island in the tax-free British Virgin Islands. He said his companies pay tax in the countries in which they are based.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.