Virgin Australia is strapped for almost all domestic flights amid a viral crisis | Instant News


SYDNEY (Reuters) – Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (VAH.AX) said on Thursday that it would land all domestic flights, except for one Sydney-Melbourne daily service until June 15, as it continued to seek government assistance to overcome the coronavirus crisis.

FILE PHOTO: A Virgin Australia Airlines plane was spotted at Kingsford Smith International Airport the morning after Australia imposed a ban on entry for non-citizens and non-residents who intended to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Sydney, Australia, 21 March 2020 REUTERS / Loren Elliott / Photo files

The second largest airline in Australia has asked the government for a $ 1.4 billion loan that can be converted into equity under certain circumstances.

Until now, such assistance has not yet arrived and the ministers said that any assistance would likely be industry-based and not exclusively for Virgin.

Virgin is in a financially weaker position than its bigger rival Qantas Airways LtdQAN.AX) and do not have an investment rating credit rating.

“As a result of government restrictions, fewer people are traveling and we have made changes to our schedule to reflect this,” Virgin said of the latest capacity reduction.

Virgin has cut all international flights except the government rescue charters, terminated most of its workforce and permanently cut all pilots at low cost Tigerair Australia and all crews based in New Zealand.

It will continue local and international cargo flights, the airline said.

Virgin shares are tightly controlled by a group of foreign airlines including Singapore Airlines Ltd. (FUCK. SI), Etihad Airways and the Chinese conglomerate HNA Group which also experienced a sharp decline in revenue due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Australian Government has announced a number of assistance to the broader aviation industry, including refunds and waiver fees such as A $ 715 million in domestic air traffic control costs and A $ 198 million in support for regional flights.

The new corona virus has infected about 1.5 million people worldwide, while more than 87,000 people have died, disrupting life and business when the government forced a lockdown to curb the plague.

To track interactive graphs of global spread of viruses: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.

Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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