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Sir Richard Branson is winning the race for Survival for Virgin Atlantic

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Even a guy like Sir Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Atlantic has no crystal ball when it comes to the damage the COVID-19 pandemic is inflicting on the aviation industry including his airline. The light at the end of the tunnel with vaccine and some help is visibile

UK Based airline Virgin Atlantic is set to raise $223 million new financings, a spokeswoman for Sir Richard Branson’s airline said in an emailed statement.

“We continue to bolster our balance sheet in anticipation of the lifting of international travel restrictions during the second quarter of 2021”, the spokeswoman said.

The latest financing follows the airline’s completion in January of the sale and leaseback of two Boeing 787s as part of a plan to strengthen its balance sheet.

The deal with Griffin Global Asset Management to raise just over $230 million from the two planes was meant to enable Virgin Atlantic to repay a loan taken on as part of its rescue deal last year.

In the latest raise, Branson’s Virgin Group is set to provide about 100 million pounds and the remaining 60 million pounds would include deferrals, according to Sky News, which first reported the development.

In November, the company said that its 1.2 billion pound rescue deal secured two months prior meant that the airline can survive even if the travel situation were to worsen.

Virgin cut costs by 335 million pounds last year, CEO Shai Weiss told an airline industry event in November. It had also announced 4,650 job losses during the pandemic, halving its workforce, and shrank its fleet.

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