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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 shares suspended

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.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (February 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

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American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 40,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 40,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

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Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

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American Express Business Gold

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (37)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • ChrisC says:

    Would be better to say Virgin group owns 10% of the VA shares rather than controls 10% of the airline.

  • Angela Adams says:

    Not surprised about Virgin Australia, but disappointed nonetheless. I was supposed to fly with them from Auckland to Tonga on the 2nd of April. Unfortunately, I booked with Expedia, who cancelled the flight on the 30th of March, sent an email saying I’d get a (useless) flight voucher which has not been forthcoming, and are impossible to contact.

  • The Jetset Boyz says:

    South African Airways has been denied any further funding by the South African government. “Neither will lending guarantees be provided in respect of the business rescue process”.

    SAA’s debt is guaranteed by the government in the event of the carrier’s collapse, so they’re really caught between a rock and a hard place.

    • Oh! Matron! says:

      Have put a claim in with Axa for my may SAA flight, as I have no confidence SAA will survive. A voucher would be effectively useless..

  • Neil says:

    Parking Refund- I’m having exactly the same problem with Holiday Extras. They let me cancel without a problem but no refund to my credit card nearly a month later. I am chasing it up with customer service.

    • Vicky says:

      I’m exactly the same and they pulled all their phone lines and emails are being ignored. It’s the only part of 3 booked trips that I haven’t had refunded.

    • AR1 says:

      I did the same last month Neil and HE e-mailed me a credit voucher (for use in the next 12 months). Nowhere during the cancellation process did they suggest a cash value wouldn’t be credited to my account. Hopefully I’ll be able to use it!
      Maybe there’s an e-mail in your spam folder?

      • Sussex Bantam says:

        Yes – they did the same to me. Really naughty I thought as nowhere in the process did it imply that I would be getting a voucher and not a cash refund.

        It said the voucher would be credited to my account by May 4th rather than a physical voucher.

    • Ali says:

      I got a voucher – not that I knew anything better but the refund they were offering by automated process was 10 pounds less. Voucher was for full value.
      One can argue if it goes bust : what will I do with my voucher…

      • Lady London says:

        Why are you guys accepting the voucher? Is it in the ts and C’s or something? Unless I was sure I would use it very quickly my immediate reaction would be to reject, demand a refund within 14 days of what’s due back to me under the ts and C’s and proceed immediately to chargeback or s.75 refund with my paying card.

        • Noggins says:

          No-one has mentioned whether or not they paid extra for the cancellation insurance. I didn’t for my recent HE booking. I still complained bitterly about no refund on Trust Pilot and have now received a voucher valid for 18 months. I thought that was very fair.
          A bit like yesterday’s comments about refunding non refundable rates (interesting responses made by Rob and others) it boils down to whether everyone agrees that in deciding whether to ‘insure’, you take account of an event like a pandemic. Of course, none of us did and I accept that we are entitled to nothing but it is encouraging to see that the ‘right’ thing is being done. (even though at the end of the chain there are businesses suffering huge hits…)

          • Carl says:

            I paid for he cancellation waiver with HE and after cancelling was emailed a voucher, same as above posters, at no point was I told it would be a voucher and not a cash refund, I’ve now done a chargeback with AMEX

  • Derek Scott says:

    EDI airport are not allowing refunds or voucher options on prepaid non-refundable parking either. Only flexible cancellation bookings. Would be nice if a voucher option was on the table, as EDI parking is known as very expensive compared to a lot of other airports.

    • Derek Scott says:

      Ignore above, appears they now are, they just haven’t contacted customers with booking to let them know

  • Stuart says:

    As for the A350s they aren’t just unlucky, they are cursed! The same one that got damaged in the paint shop also smashed into the ground in Tel Aviv, was met by the fire service in Toronto after a hydrologic issue and also spilled hydronic fluid all over the runway at Heathrow.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Just a series of random events.

      This one was being pushed back by ground handling crew and obviously gone wrong. You could say it’s unlucky but BA are about to be paid to park a plane at a time it wasn’t doing much anyway and they have plenty planes that can replace it. Sounds lucky to me.

    • Mr Navorski says:

      I’ve heard that hydronic fluid can be a right little bugger to get out of your coveralls too.

      • Sunguy says:

        Not sure about the heat transfer properties of hydronic fluid – ***but** having been covered from head to toe in aviation hydraulic fluid(malfunctioning aircraft whilst I was underneath it), I can tell you quite categorically after a trip to A&E (to get my eyes washed ) – that a) it doesn’t taste very nice, b) it really is pretty slippery and c) my clothes had to be binned……

    • Algor says:

      Cursed is yet to be confirmed but very comfortable on flights to and from Dubai.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Had my A350 club suites flight swapped out to a 777 last min. Gutted in an understatement especially now as no idea when I’ll get a chance to fly it now.

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      No. That was G-XWBD who had most of those accidents.

  • Declan Moriarty says:

    I’ve had similar issues with APH parking, as they’ve furloughed all their staff, they’ve got no one to process refunds.

  • ao40 says:

    On flight pass – finally got confirmation of a two month extension to two passes, and six cancelled flights being re-credited. It took many emails just to do that, so good luck trying to get an actual refund!

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