Australian airline becomes casualty of coronavirus crisis

Virgin Australia announced in a statement Monday that control of the company would me handed over to administrators at Deloitte as the company seeks to recover from reduced flights due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a news release, the company said that the decision came amid its efforts to secure financial assistance from the Australian government, and pointed to the coronavirus outbreak as occurring while the company was already attempting to restructure its workforce and fleet to better its financial prospects.

“The COVID-19 pandemic came as [Virgin Australia] was progressing on a significant transformation program to reset its cost base including consolidating its workforce, simplifying the fleet, withdrawing from unprofitable routes and reviewing and renegotiating supplier agreements,” read the news release.

One of the Deloitte administrators appointed to oversee the company added in the news release that the administrators were committed to securing recapitalization for the business.

“We are committed to working with Paul and the Virgin Australia team and are progressing well on some immediate steps. We have commenced a process of seeking interest from parties for participation in the recapitalisation of the business and its future, and there have been several expressions of interest so far,” Vaughan Strawbridge, a Deloitte partner, said.

Virgin Australia’s financial woes come following a similar move from U.K.-based airline FlyBe, which entered administration early last month.

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