Guardian’s Today In Focus: “Should the UK bail out Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic?“

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The Guarding, UK newspaper, has a weekday podcast “Today in Focus” that dedicated its most recent episode, whether the UK should save Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic Richard Branson

There has been a social media backlash in the UK when Virgin’s founder, Sir Richard Branson, has demanded government bailout money to save the airline despite being a billionaire living in a Caribbean tax haven.

You can access Guardian’s page for podcasts here.

Here’s how Guardian describes this episode:

The billionaire Sir Richard Branson, who founded Virgin Atlantic in 1984 and retains a 51% stake alongside US airline Delta with 49%, is pleading for UK government support. But the plea has prompted a substantial backlash, with many pointing out that the entrepreneur has paid the exchequer no personal income tax since moving to the tax-free British Virgin Islands 14 years ago.

The Guardian wealth correspondent, Rupert Neate, tells Anushka Asthana about the founding of Virgin Atlantic and why, along with many other airlines, it finds itself in such financial peril. Rupert says that if the company is unable to secure financial help, it may go bust.

Here’s what has happened earlier:

Richard Branson Virgin

Virgin Atlantic Collapses Unless UK Government Chips-In

Virgin Atlantic Collapses By The End Of May Unless New Cash Found

Conclusion

The Guardian is considered left-leaning UK newspaper that is part of my news diet along with WSJ, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post, and few others.

It doesn’t help Sir Richard that he sharply demanded in the late 2000s that the UK government should not use cash to bail out British Airways.

The UK has already bailed out EasyJet (£600M) and Wizz Air (£300M) by extending them loans. British Airways, with its strong balance sheet, could be in a situation where it doesn’t even need any.

It is certainly interesting whether Virgin Atlantic can convince the UK to extend them the £500M, and whether that even would be enough to see them through this pandemic.

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