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Implications For Australia - Virgin Group Close To  
User currently offlineOz777 From Australia, joined Jun 2000, 521 posts, RR: 5
Posted (13 years 3 months 2 days ago) and read 2095 times:

I am getting reports from the UK that the Virgin Group is in severe difficulty and may be close to collapse. Anyone with further information?

If so this will really put the cat amongst the pidgeons in Australia, as Virgin Blue is trying valiantly to pick up the slack left by the Ansett hole.


40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineGo Canada! From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 2955 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1914 times:


You are correct, the virgin group is in dire difficulty.
several assets have been sold off to re-finance the group.The group suffers from richard branson moving funds from virgin atlantic to less successful parts.

Singapore as let in with 49% to raise funds which have now gone.They will not let Richard Branson move funds away.

Branson had to morgage his airline stake to llyods tsb and so far he hasnt claimed it back.

1,200 jobs have gone, route cutbakcs are occuring and virgin will suffer because it depends on american travel it only has one european route.

The new open skies agreement between the uk and the usa next year will see virgin further hit as bmi and united will be together as will BA and AA.

the finances of virgin group are cloaked in secrecy, they are slow to register accounts with companies house(all uk companies must register accounts) and they will not flot the group because shareholders will not allow bransons questionable business tactics.

It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
User currently offlineOz777 From Australia, joined Jun 2000, 521 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1884 times:

Appreciate the info - some of it is quite old I gather.

The info I am picking up right now, is that Sir Dick has had the banks move on him, is in a flap looking for cash, and may, within the next 24hrs call in the receivers.

Any sniff of this in the London papers yet?


User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13745 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1856 times:

At least they have cut jobs and grounded planes!

They will survive. The board of VS said so. That's good enough for me. SO there.

Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineJaspike From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 1 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1842 times:

Sir Richard Branson (The Owner) said on live Tv, that they aren't closing, they're just slowing down, because they, like other airlines are losing miney. He said they will hopefully be back to normal in the future.

User currently offlineVS744 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2001, 677 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1839 times:

plus the UK govt will bail them out.

User currently offlineGroobster From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1823 times:

Why would the UK Government help out a privately owned company?

They've never done it elsewhere. What makes Virgin so special?

Next flights: MAN-IST-AUH-MAN
User currently offlineWirraway From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 1321 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1813 times:


You have surely got a scoop if your sources are
correct, I have just turned over all London's main
papers and there is no mention of this on their
latest and breaking news, interesting times.


User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12592 posts, RR: 34
Reply 8, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1795 times:

Careful here, I think. In times like these, competitors - some of whom had tried it before - MAY try to spread rumours about the financial strength of certain airlines; not pointing fingers anywhere in particular, but the other major British airline is also being hit hard and its Australian partner is also being troubled by part of the Virgin group; they would really regret Virgin going under.

Not saying anything, maybe there is truth to it and this is all the more reason to keep it a secret. Blood in the water and sharks . . .

However, I have some concerns about VS and welcome their move to ground a number of aircraft. I wonder was it wise of them to take on those ex AZ 744s, some of which are being flown on routes ex LGW, which have far less business traffic. However, when AZ cancelled its 744s, VS got Boeing out of a hole by taking them on, so I would imagine that if worst came to worst, Boeing would help them out in some way.

User currently offlineGo Canada! From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 2955 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1774 times:

sorry to burst bubbles but Sir Richard Branson (The Owner) isnt the owner of virgin atlantic.

it is lloyds tsb and singapore airlines.

sorry to burt more bubbles but the British Government arent branosn fans, they stopped him running the lottery, branson means nothing to the british government,BA is what matters, not branson.

the british press are no longer branson friendly and would kick up a storm if he got government aid, especially since he is very quite on the finances.

dont say too much oz777, you and me seem to have upset singapore air since hes being childish and saying so there.

the board of ansett and anz said ansett would be ok and what happened?

oh dear, one airline gone(ansett), one coming (anz) and one maybe soon (virgin)-all with singapores sticky prints.

Branson ahsnt stumped up the cash for virgin atl, he will lose his airline stake to llyods permenatley f he does not pay very soon.

i dont see branson going bankrupt just let, however i see his baby being sold to singapore in full, he really needs the cahs.

the excuse when it was morgaged was that he was moving into the american mobile market, however no-one seems to know when the deal is to be completed.

he has sold virgin one finance to royal bank of scotland.
virgin holidays was sold to first choice.
virgin fashion is being shut down.
virgin vie is up for sale.

virgin megastores owe record companies a lot of money, they are not giving the companies their full revenues and are threaterning to stop selling cds if the companies dont renagotiate for virgin to have a bigger share of profits.

a stake in virgin rail was sold to stagecoach, only for the rest to be sold to them, branson also balmed railtrack for his inability to afford the train upgrades and he has been denyed other franchises.

he has an overdraft of 25 million as well.

grounding of aircraft and cutbacks will not please singapore airlines, they thought they had bought an excellent product, only now do they realise virgin atl had no money and that come open skies, virgin will be alone, its being blocked by lufthansa, united and bmi from joining the star alliance and by air canada which didnt like branson complaining about competiton in canada and threats to buy westjet..

Qantas is not being hit by virgin blue, the purchase of impluse plus the new austrian airlines help to shield virgin blue, virgin blue affected ansett far more.

and of course BA would love for Branson to go bankrupt, though i dont think Oz777 would be saying this because of british airways and qantas since previous posts show he isnt the number one fan of British Airways.

im expecting more developments.ps please inform me, no please tell me why the british government would bail out richard branson when he has critised them, they wont care if virgin goes bankrupt because they know singapore will buy it and if not they will sell it to british airways, transfer the staff and safeguard BA.

virgin will be scarificed first to save BA.

It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
User currently offlineGo Canada! From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 2955 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1770 times:

another follow up.

Branson cannot gain any more credit and will soon default on his payments and virgin atl will be woned by lloyds tsb for good.

also the government rejected his lottery bid because they said he didnt have enough finances to run the lottery, pay out the winning money and donate all profits to good causes.

wont he also default on the virgin blue leases?

It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
User currently offlineB744 From New Zealand, joined Dec 1999, 491 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1759 times:

CNBC had a brief interview with Sir Richard Branson yesterday and also mentioned that the UK Govt is considering financial support for both VS and BA. There is a big difference between airlines and other private companies!

User currently offlineMx5_boy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1737 times:


No mention of any problems with DJ - they are in a good position at the moment, but if the parent can't cough up the money for leases, who knows?

Do any of you think that DJ will still be able to take up any of AN's planes / staff? Doesn't look likely at the moment. There hasn't been much noise from the DJ camp about it. Nothing from Mark Mentha either.

I'll check out Reuters and see what I can find.


User currently offlineJetstreamer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 329 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1732 times:

I have NEVER read so much rubbish in my entire life.

The demise of Virgin Atlantic is certainly not imminent. To suggest that the UK government would help BA financially and ignore Virgin is quite frankly ridiculous.

There are cutbacks being made with staff and routes. Show me an airline which is expanding at the moment!

By increasing capacity to the Far East and South Africa as well as decreasing capacity across the atlantic is a sensible move to safeguard the future.

Let's keep these discussions based on FACTS not speculation and scare mongering.

By the way, Go Canada, yet another thing you've got wrong is that Virgin Holidays was sold to First Choice. Virgin Sun was sold to First Choice. Virgin Holidays is 100% owned by Sir Richard and is the UK's largest tour operator to Florida.

User currently offlineRAAFController From Australia, joined May 2001, 125 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1720 times:

Hi all,

Before people start worrying about Virgin Blue, lets all remember that Virgin Blue is a SEPARATE entity to Virgin Atlantic. The only real link is that they chare the same owner, and even that is tenuous as VS is 49% owned by SIA and 51 bu LLoyds Bank tsb.

I am beginning to question the management at SIA too. For a while with the dealings at Air NZ/AN i thought they were being very clever, but with huge losses in their sharholdings at Air NZ, and what appears to be a very real threat to the value of their holding in VS, i'm wondering if they have done their homework properly!



P.S. Does anyone ahve any more info?

User currently offlineWirraway From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 1321 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1691 times:

If Branson was being called in by the banks,
the british press would have a field day with
the story.


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1683 times:

Virgin Atlantic's financial state was used quite heavily by BA in their dirty tricks campaign against Virgin. If Virgin does indeed fall, bmi will be the one to benefit most from this.

User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13745 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1682 times:

My dear SIA=hater, SIA is not a sign of bad luck. Virgin will survive, they have cut costs so there is no reason why they won't. I'm sorry to "burst your bubble".

The British Press are Branson friendly ffs! What the hell are you talking about?

I suppose you need two British views to get a complete picture...

Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13745 posts, RR: 19
Reply 18, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1680 times:

VS sacrificed to save BA? Nice of you to share your in-depth fantasies with us.

Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlinePOSITIVE RATE From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 2143 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1678 times:

Going back to Virgin Blue are they still planning on taking on 5 new jets a year as was previously planned? I think they operate around 10 737's at the moment and were due to take 5 more by the end of 2001 and another five by dec 2002- is this still going to happen?

User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6638 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1651 times:

What aircraft have Virgin grounded?

User currently offlineGo Canada! From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 2955 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1634 times:

Ni im sorry it isnt, singapore air, as usual your undying believe in the benefits of singapore coulded your judgement.

the British press, especially the boardsheets no longer have branson in high regard.This can be seen by serveral scathing attacks in the financial pages of the boardsheets along with the harsh words dealt out by the times rich list which says he has lost 1 billion pounds in 12 months.I dont expect you to read broadsheets singapore air.

i do apoligise i should have made clear that virgin sun was sold to first choice.

according to the virgin web-site virgin holidays is fully owned by virgin atl, richard branson former airline.

it does have implications for austrialia if richard branson isnt as wealthy as first thought.

i am not the only one singapore air who states that the management at sia can be questionable.

The British government has not AGREEED to give virgin and ba funds, it has stated it will set u a working party to study the effects.such parties will not come to a decision within a week, it is well known that putting things into commitee is a stallignt actic by the british civil service, constant backers of british airways.

if it came down to one or the other BA would survive, no question.

they may give virgin and BA aid but the british government is already backing the new BA/AA link up which will harm virgin.

i have said irgin is in difficulty, that is undenyable and recongised by the city of london which would deary love to read bransons accounts.

It is undenyable that he has sold soo many businesses, it is undenyable that virgin retail is in dispute with record companies, t has been reported in many british paperes and if was incorrect branson would have sued for libel.

we can all specutlate on the demise on virgin, this is a discussion forum and we are airing views, oz777 asked for further infor, he has had further info.

if some of you dont like it then thats your tough luck.

Remember oz777 asked for info on the virgin group.that is different from virgin atlantic because for the last time richard branson doesnt own his stake in virgin atlantic.

it is undenyable that open skies will affect branson the most because it will increase competiton and as stated time and time again virgin does not have an anti-turst immunity agreement like UA/bmi and the new AA/BA linkup.

Richard branson is happy to complain about competition when it suits him yet when real competition occurs, he doesnt like it.

richard branson has sold businesses, said in his book he had an 25 million overdraft and virgin retails has admitted to trying to renogiate what it pays record compnaies.

what is speculation about that?

i challegene anyone to prove virgin group is performing well, because I know you cannot prove this for his businesses are loss making and his accounts are kept private.

thats why its hard to accept that he isnt as rich as first thought.

It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
User currently offlineRyanair From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 654 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day ago) and read 1604 times:

Go Canada!: Lloyds TSB doesnot own any of VS, they have a loaned Branson money secured on 51% of VS, that share is Bransons Trusts property, but should he default ownership is transfered to Lloyds TSB.

Virgin Group is troubled, but should it go bust then I assume the 51% moves to LloydsTSB, so ops continue. Wholely owned Virgin companies might be in more trouble.

Wasn't it rather unholy watching Eddington and Branson walk shoulder to shoulder to see the government demanding cash! Who'd have bet on that sight?

User currently offline'Longreach' From Australia, joined Jul 2001, 505 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day ago) and read 1603 times:

If any of this about Virgin Atlantic is true, SIA will have to start to think a little more before they go splashing their money around. I have read the value of ANZ has dropped over 70% in recent weeks and SIA just injected a further $150million at $0.68, which then practically fell overnight to $0.32. THis is a huge waste of money, and I would really like to see a statment from them now saying they are taking their investment seriously.

Also not to do with topic: Can someone tell me why all of this cash investment into ANZ is ocuring after Ansett collapsed?

Another stupid KIWI blunder no doubt? Or did they plan all along to screw the aussies over.

User currently offlineOz777 From Australia, joined Jun 2000, 521 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (13 years 3 months 1 day ago) and read 1596 times:

When I originally posted this thread, it was as a result of two separate emails I got from sources in the UK, PLUS a short new item on the late Channel 7 new here in Australia.

As has been pointed out, Branson's accounts are private (ie no public scrutiny), and the inter-relationship of each entity to the other is clouded. (Much like the Ansett accounts!!!).

If, as one of the reports suggested, it was the Group in trouble, then it may be a branding issue.

If it is Branson's American ventures (or one's reliant onUS traffic), then there some huge holes appearing. I cannot get a handle on his total exposure through the airlines versus his whole group's revenue, but:

With the Insurance hike noted recently, and Qantas has stated it cannot afford the increased premiums without Govt help, I wonder about Branson's personal ability to service the increased debt.

The info that came to me alluded to a cessation (or refusal to extend) of his ability to gear (ie borrow a greater percentage against his assets) as well as service lease costs. This was in response to the (sic) insurance hike.

Depending on how Branson structured his companies, one collapse could trigger a domino effect. I just wonder why, in Australia, he appears unable to secure leases on some of the Ansett aircraft to take up the routes the Govt is offering him.

And if indeed the lending institutions have tightened up, this may affect his ability to secure additional lease funding for further fleet growth. It would be a very risky banker prepared to fund additional moneys right at the moment for fleet growth. I tend to think there may be a thread of truth somewhere in this.

As I said, pure conjecture based on a couple of report from different sources. If there is any substance in it, it has huge implications for Australia.

Time will tell


25 BA DC-10 : Someone really must have the scoop of the century, because I haven;t heard anything about this in the news LOL! Frankly, the idea of the UK governmen
26 Jetstreamer : Nobody has the scoop of the century. It is pure speculation. Some people obviously want to see the company fail so they are trying to talk it down. Th
27 Mx5_boy : Oz777, Well, things are looking grim accross all Aviation markets, particularly oz. I can now see the following at YSSY: QF Domestic 1. (QF) QF Domest
28 Doug_or : first swiss air, now singapore. will major carriers be more casuetious in the future before investing heavily overseas?
29 Wirraway : Mx5 I am hearing the problem with VB leasing AN aircraft is union related, which could well be true if you think about it, for QF to fly 10 A320s, up
30 POSITIVE RATE : Yes but are DJ going to purchase further 737-800's like Branson envisaged about 6 months ago? He stated the airline would grow by about 5 new 737's ea
31 Wirraway : Positive Rate Virgin Blue today announced they are in contact with Boeing to see if they can bring all their 737-700s and 800s FORWARD for early deliv
32 Go Canada! : oh i agree,fancy rod walking alongside dicky b, lord king would have spit blood, still desperate times call for desperate measures, im sure rod wanted
33 BNE : If ansett can't be revived then Virgin should hopefully be able to lease the 737s that Ansett has now, that way Virgin could employ ex Ansett staff at
34 Wirraway : OK, the rumour I just got is that VB are leasing 10 737-800s from Midway airlines in the states, can someone confirm if this airline has 737-800s. Wir
35 Go Canada! : Virgin Atlantic End of airline, end of empire? Can Richard Branson's tactic of expanding out of a crisis save the group? Special report: transport in
36 Oz777 : Interesting comment - much along the lines of what I was hearing a week ago. I still think the real test will be as to how successful Branson is in ge
37 Aussie_ : The advantage of the Midway 737s is that they're 737NGs - indeed 737-700s (not 800s) so they'd fit into the DJ fleet perfectly. Admittedly 737-300s in
38 Skystar : Ansett's 737-300s are capable of flying to PER, and they do so normally from ADL, and other WA state destinations (eg. Karratha). Cheers, Justin
39 Wirraway : Oz777 I think the test to come is how financial Richard is at the present moment, if he has access to reasonable capital he can clean up, if finance i
40 VS11 : Sir Richard will survive, have no fear.
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