Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. on Tuesday after telling a London court it was set to run out of cash next month without getting approval for a rescue financing.
The airline filed its petition in the Southern District of New York. Chapter 15 bankruptcy allows foreign companies with U.S. assets to protect themselves against claims while they work on a turnaround plan.
Since Jan. 1, Virgin’s reservations are down 89 per cent year-over-year and current demand for the second half of 2020 is at approximately 25 per cent of 2019 levels, according to court papers.
“The group and its business have been adversely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused an unprecedented near-shutdown of the global passenger aviation industry,” according to the court papers. “Global aviation was one of the first industries to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and is likely to be one of the last to fully recover.