Virgin Australia forced into trading halt amid pandemic

Virgin Australia has entered into a trading halt following a board meeting with the airline’s international shareholders.

It’s the second time this month the airline has alerted the ASX to suspend trading.

The decision follows growing pressure for the Federal Government to provide financial assistance to the struggling airline, which has grounded almost its entire fleet and stood down thousands of workers because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah requested $1.4 billion in financial support from the Morrison Government to survive the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

In a statement sent to, a spokesperson for the airline said the halt was in response to ongoing conversations amid the COV-19 crisis.

“Virgin Australia has requested a trading halt as it continues to consider ongoing issues with respect to financial assistance and restructuring alternatives,” the statement read.

“This has arisen due to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis which has particularly impacted the aviation sector.

“We value the ongoing support of our customers. Virgin Australia has been keeping the air fair in Australia for 20 years and we want to continue to provide a valuable service to all Australians, the 16,000 people employed directly and indirectly, and enable the broader economy to restart quickly once we emerge from this crisis.”

On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack told the ABC that discussions were continuing with the airline, with Mr Scurrah warning Australia’s economy would suffer significantly if the airline collapsed.

“They’re having discussions with their own shareholders about how they can raise capital and we’ll continue our discussions,” Mr McCormack said.

“I’m not ruling anything out.”

More to come.

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