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Virgin Atlantic gets £400 million lifeline from Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines

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Virgin Atlantic has announced a £400 million investment from Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines, in a move which should hopefully allow the UK airline to survive the Omicron storm.

£204 million is being provided by Virgin Group with £196 million coming from Delta. All new aircraft deliveries are now fully funded up to mid 2024.

On the back of the new investment, Virgin Atlantic is forecasting a return to profitability in 2023. This is not totally unrealistic given that the airline has made huge reductions in its fleet and staff costs since the start of the pandemic, but clearly won’t be easy.

Delta Airlines investment in Virgin Atlantic

In total, Delta has just announced commitments of $1.2 billion across three airlines where it has a shareholding – Virgin Atlantic, Aeromexico and LATAM.

Delta was restricted from putting new money into Virgin Atlantic last year under the terms of the bailout it received from the US Government. Instead, it supported the first Virgin Atlantic recapitalisation by writing off historic and future payments due from the airline.

The shareholdings in Virgin Atlantic will remain unchanged. Virgin Group retains 51% and Delta Air Line remains at 49%.

Delta and Virgin Atlantic crew

Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, said:

“Our story has been well documented during the pandemic. Together with our people, we have proven that we have what it takes to emerge a stronger airline. Throughout, our shareholders Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines, and our creditors, have been a source of unwavering support. As our customers look to travel again to reconnect with their families, loved ones and business colleagues around the world, we look forward to working together towards our vision of becoming the most loved travel company and becoming sustainably profitable, serving our customers with Virgin flair for the next 37 years and beyond.”

Josh Bayliss, CEO of the Virgin Group, said:

Since 1984, Virgin Atlantic has been a cornerstone of the Virgin brand, flying millions of customers and providing essential competition. We are extremely grateful to the Virgin Atlantic team for its incredible tenacity and commitment skilfully navigating the worst crisis ever to hit the travel industry. With the addition of new routes and a continuing focus on operating a cleaner, greener fleet, there is much to look forward to.”

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (February 2023)

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 Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

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

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

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

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

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 (29)

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

  • Dubious says:


    Can celebrate with a Gregs

  • Sean says:

    Yep, can stop ordering the black friday cases of wine now.

  • CarpalTravel says:

    Me and my hard earned points are very grateful!

  • Josh says:

    Hi HFP-ers! I wondered if you could help me please? Does anyone know if Virgin have a similar policy whereby you can wrap a points booking up into a future travel voucher, like BA has? I don’t really want to pay £30/person for the 4 people we have in the booking if i can help it. We were due to fly to the US on a redemption booking with Virgin but plans have now changed. Obviously very grateful for any advice! Thank you

  • David Cohen says:

    Is this actually new, cold hard cash, or a further deferral in payments?

  • James Harper says:

    I still think this is an ‘investment’ Delta, just as Singapore did, will regret.

  • Richie says:

    A return to profitability in 2023 seems a little over optimistic.

  • ankomonkey says:

    I generally like VS, but my problem – even pre-pandemic – is/was that they simply don’t fly to the places I usually go to. While I do hope they can stay in business, I am even less likely to need/want to fly the ‘leaner’ version of them than before. And I still have over 400k VS miles and never eat at Greggs! They need to become more relevant to more people.

    • Andrew says:

      Maybe you should try a Greggs?

      If you’re a regular in the BA lounge and your expectations are met by a bit of greasy barely cooked bacon in a barely defrosted chewy bap in the morning… You’re going to be staggered by a freshly cooked Gregg’s bacon roll.

      If only Virgin served Greggs baguettes in economy… Can you imagine the joy on people’s faces if the crew came down the aisle offering a fresh yumyum and coffee as the afternoon snack?

      • cinereus says:

        To be fair Greggs is pretty bloody awful too. And that still doesn’t help those of us stilling on large stashes.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Obvious question therefore is what in the world are you doing with 400k virgin points?

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

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