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Virgin Australia shares suspended as the airline hovers on the brink of bankruptcy

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By the time you read this on Wednesday the situation may be clearer, but at the time of writing on Tuesday Virgin Australia shares had been suspended on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The suspension was to allow financial restructuring talks to take place.  It is unlikely that the airline will collapse entirely.  It is seeking a A$1.4 billion Government loan which would convert into equity if not repaid.  If this fails, the existing lenders are likely to agree a debt for equity swap which would see the airline survive but the existing shareholders wiped out.

Virgin Australia shares suspended

One problem is that the shareholder group is not exactly in great shape itself.  You are looking at HNA, the struggling Chinese conglomerate, Etihad Airways, which has been perfectly happy to see its other overseas investments fail, Singapore Airlines, which has just received its own bailout and Nanshan Group, owner of China’s Qindao Airlines.  Virgin Group itself controls only 10% of the airline.

Virgin Australia is not out of cash – it is sitting on A$900 million – but this is only enough to last 3-6 months given the interest on its existing A$5 billion debt pile.

You can read the Sydney Morning Herald story here.

Virgin Australia shares suspended

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Comments (37)

  • David S says:

    Watch out as well for Car Hire notifications. We are overseas and got told at 5 hrs notice that they were closing the rental facility until 15th May and that all other rental companies were already closed. If you want to return before 15th May you have to drop the car keys at their off airport place and walk to the Airport. When you see those articles on where do they park the aircraft and then look at where park the cars, it’s just a sea of cars parked inches apart

  • Wetboy1uk says:

    How about an article on fhr parking as i am still waiting foe a refund from them for parkingmhitel booking despite millennium telling them to make the refund a month ago!!! Absolutely disgusted with them. Seems everyone complains about the big boys but these smaller companies seem to get away with any bad publicity.

    • Rob says:

      Most of the small operators are cowboys and generally perceived as such, I thought. Most people are grateful if they get their car back with less than 500 miles added to the mileage and no extra damage.

      • Wetboy1uk says:

        They all use the same car parks and hotrls though. I am not tslking about one that uses dodgy car parks. Never mind. Clearly your only out to discredit the big boys.

        • Rob says:

          In general we only write about things when there are a critical mass of complaints – by definition we rarely get a critical mass about smaller operators. There is also an editorial decision over whether it is worth giving airtime to businesses that no-one has heard of.

  • Olly says:

    Seems like it’s not just LGW who are delaying refunds. Marriott have told me it’ll be 90 days before I see my hotel deposit refunded, and same with the taxes due back from a Virgin redemption too. Also extends to trains – SWR told me it’d be a fortnight for the season ticket refund to be processed, but a month on, still no sign of it back in the account.

  • Waddle says:

    Morgan Stanley advising UK Government on £500m Virgin Atlantic bailout.
    Source: Sky News City Editor

  • AJA says:

    That accident is unfortunate. The ground handling agent, will have a hefty insurance bill to repair both aircraft. Fortunately the BA plane was only a cargo flight so no BA passengers were inconvenienced. Not sure if the Emirates plane was empty. About 12 years ago I was involved in an insurance claim after a LSG catering truck hit a brand new Qatar Airways 777 at LHR and punched a hole in the side (it had just flown its maiden flight to LHR and was preparing to fly back to Qatar). The bill for accomodating first & business class passengers on any available flight that night and the hotel bills and subsequent airfares for all other passengers over the following couple of days was about £250k and that was before the repairs to the aircraft and the parking and landing fees payable to LHR while the plane was moved to a remote stand for a few weeks while repairs were carried out.

    • Lady London says:

      Wonder how big was LSG Catering’s next insurance premium after that one? 🙂

  • Carl says:

    Just realised I forgot to cancel a Gatwick Parking booking for 8th April until 14th. Do I have any chance of getting this back given that my EasyJet flights were cancelled, would I be able to claim it through insurance? Was Gatwick parking even open between those dates?

  • Eli says:

    An A350 also suffered a heavy landing at TLV a few months ago in stormy weather and was put out of work for a few days,
    Some bad luck there