Richard Branson to sell Virgin Galactic stake to save airline

SpaceShipTwo Unity flying free in New Mexico Airspace for the first time (Image: Virgin Galactic)
SpaceShipTwo Unity flying free in New Mexico Airspace for the first time (Image: Virgin Galactic)

Sir Richard Branson is selling his share in the space tourism business, Virgin Galactic to raise money for Virgin Atlantic (VS/VIR).

The stake is expected to raise around $500m which Virgin Group says will be used to support the groups “leisure, holiday and travel businesses” including the airline.

The group had hoped to get support from the UK Government but has come under fierce criticism for not exploring commercial options before relying on the taxpayer.

Virgin Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

In a bid to win government support, Mr Branson even offered his private islands in the British Virgin Islands as collateral.

Virgin Atlantic, like many airlines, has been hit by the global crisis causes by the Coronavirus pandemic.

It recently announced it would be ending its operations at London Gatwick Airport (LGW/EGKK) as well as cutting 3,000 jobs.

The airline has also brought forward the retirement of its Boeing 747 fleet.

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About Nick Harding 1230 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.