Virgin Atlantic chief defends plea for aid from govt

British Business mogul, Sir Richard Branson has defended his request for a financial aid from the Government, claiming that such aid is needed to keep the Virgin Atlantic in business amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

His response comes after he faced intense criticism for trying to convince ministers to give Virgin Atlantic a £500m bailout to help it survive the economic fallout from the pandemic.

In an open letter to staff, published on Monday, Sir Richard said this period was “the most challenging time” he has ever faced during his five decades in business.

He wrote: “It is hard to find the words to convey what a devastating impact this pandemic continues to have on so many communities, businesses and people around the world.

“From a business perspective, the damage to many is unprecedented and the length of the disruption remains worryingly unknown.”

Calling for financial support from the Government, he said: “We will do everything we can to keep the airline going – but we will need government support to achieve that in the face of the severe uncertainty surrounding travel today and not knowing how long the planes will be grounded for.”

With more than 70,000 people working in Virgin companies across 35 countries, Sir Richard said he is doing all he can to protect jobs and keep businesses afloat.

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