Virgin Australia’s administrator will borrow $200 million to keep the airline flying as it sifts through potential suitors in preparation for a sale.
The Australian claims the business is not as liquid as earlier cited by management, and had just $30 million when the operation was handed over to Deloitte’s Vaughan Strawbridge two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, it’s also emerged that Dubbo mayor Ben Shields has made an audacious bid to convince a reborn Virgin Australia to base its regional operation at the central-west NSW airport.
Shields reportedly penned a letter to state Premier Gladys Berejiklian, persuading her to provide a financial package to the airline.
“If Dubbo was able to further increase the services it offers, it would have the potential to create hundreds of jobs for our region,” he wrote. “It would be a welcome boost at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing drought has ravaged our local economy.”
The airport recently upgraded its runway, lighting, car parks and expanded its general aviation precinct. It currently hosts QantasLink, Fly Pelican, Fly Corporate, Rex and AirLink.
“Dubbo Regional Council had been in regular contact with Virgin with the intent of forming a partnership for regular passenger transport services from western NSW to a number of potential ports in and outside of NSW,” Shields said.
“There is no doubt the aviation industry is currently experiencing a difficult time but I am confident there is a bright future ahead and Dubbo can be an important part of that recovery for our domestic airlines.”
The news comes after it emerged that Virgin Australia is still in talks with federal and state governments, leading to hopes a partial bailout could well happen.
Virgin Australia’s administrator told the first meeting of shareholders that there are now 20 parties interested in buying the airline and expects to have all offers on the table by mid-May.
For more of our in-depth coverage, click the links below:
- Velocity Frequent Flyer points have been paused, but won’t be cancelled;
- Sir Richard Branson hits out at the Australian government as he pays tribute to Virgin staff;
- The TWU and opposition urges the government to make a ‘bold’ move to save the airline;
- Australia’s states have entered an apparent bailout bidding war to help Virgin Australia – on the condition the reborn business shifts its base away from Brisbane.