Virgin Australia to fly again with new US owner Bain Capital

A Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 series aircraft on the runway at Sydney's main international airport.
Virgin Australia was bought by the US private equity group Bain Capital after it fell into management due to corona virus travel restrictions.
The airline had to deal with long-term debt of AUD 5 billion (GBP 2.55 billion; USD 3.17 billion) before the pandemic broke out.
Australia's second largest airline had unsuccessfully requested government loans before its collapse in April.
Virgin Australia currently has a number of major shareholders, including Sir Richard Branson.
The airline's administrators, Deloitte, said Friday that Bain would become the new owner. The deal is expected to close in late August.
A statement said Bain is supporting the airline's current management team and their turnaround plan for the company. It has also committed to keeping thousands of jobs.
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In addition, a "substantial capital injection" would be made to assist Virgin Australia in recapitalizing for the future.
Bain and another US company, Cyrus Capital Partners, had been in the running to buy the airline before Cyrus stepped down on Friday.
"Bain Capital has submitted a strong and compelling offer for the company that will secure the future of Australia's second airline, thousands of employees and their families, and ensure that Australia continues to enjoy the benefits of a competitive aviation sector," said Deloitte in the statement .
A victory for the government
Simon Atkinson, BBC News, Sydney
While there has been great interest in buying Virgin Australia, the corridors of power that the airline has a new owner will still breathe a sigh of relief.
This is a win for the government. Virgin was saved without state intervention and the prospect of a Qantas monopoly was avoided.
In the short term - when national borders open - both airlines (and their low-cost subsidiaries) are building up the demand from people who are desperate to fly through Australia to see family, do business, or go on vacation instead of abroad.
But Australia is in its first recession in almost three decades. Record unemployment and the inevitable reduction in social benefits from Covid-19 mean that soon limited dollars will be available to people.
And the success of video conferencing will make companies rethink the Sydney to Melbourne business trips that were the proverbial cash cow for both Qantas and Virgin.
So it will be interesting to see how the two airlines compete with each other and whether they are embarking on a price war as both are flush with new investments.
Aside from Sir Richard, Virgin Australia currently owns a number of shareholders including Singapore Airlines, the United Arab Emirates government and China's HNA airline.
Sir Richard has announced plans to sell a stake in its Virgin Galactic space tourism business to support its other businesses, including Virgin Atlantic. He also provided his luxury Necker Island as collateral to secure a state loan.
On Thursday, competing airline Qantas announced it would cut 6,000 jobs as part of its plans to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

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