Virgin manages to strengthen balance sheets
Although Virgin has managed to survive, with the current situation in the pandemic, it still has a battle ahead to stay viable like most airlines. Virgin Atlantic has announced the completion of financing transactions relating to two Boeing 787 aircraft, further strengthening its balance sheet, in partnership with Griffin Global Asset Management and Bain Capital Credit.
On 4 September 2020, Virgin Atlantic achieved the privately funded, solvent recapitalisation of the airline to ensure that it continues to provide essential connectivity and competition to customers in the UK and beyond. This latest financing opportunity – a first for Griffin Global Asset Management – allows the airline to pay down debt and improve its cash position as it enters 2021, to further strengthen the airline’s resilience until passenger flying resumes at scale.
With the mass roll out of effective vaccines on the horizon, the implementation of testing regimes and a reduction in UK quarantine policy, customer demand for travel in 2021 has been gradually returning. Meanwhile, on the back of a record 2020, Virgin Atlantic Cargo continues to keep global supply chains running by transporting vital medical supplies, ensuring the airline plays a central role in supporting the effort to save lives.
Oliver Byers, Chief Financial Officer, Virgin Atlantic said: “Since the beginning of the crisis, we have taken decisive action to reduce our costs, preserve cash and protect as many jobs as possible. As provided for in the recent privately funded solvent recapitalisation of the airline, we have continued to explore additional financing opportunities to strengthen our balance sheet into the new year.
“We are proud to be partnering with Griffin on this financing opportunity regarding two of our Boeing 787-900s. Their flexibility and speed has been particularly impressive and we welcome this show of confidence from our new partners. This deal will allow Virgin Atlantic to further bolster our cash position and we are confident that we will emerge a sustainably profitable airline, with a healthy balance sheet.”
Free 2,000 Virgin Atlantic points & how to earn them from home
Since fewer Flying Club members are able to earn Virgin Points in the air at the moment, Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club is reminding its members about the ways they can boost their points from home including by simply doing the weekly shop.
From 19 January, Flying Club will be Tesco Clubcard’s exclusive frequent flyer partner and everyone who auto-exchanges their Clubcard vouchers into Virgin Points will receive a whopping 2,000 Virgin Points bonus. Not only that, but those who auto-exchange for the following three statements (May, August and November), will be entered into three different prize draws to win one of fifteen prizes for 40,000 Virgin Points – five per Clubcard statement period (which is quarterly) – enough for two reward return flights from London to New York City*.
More information is available here, including how Clubcard customers can activate the auto-exchange.
Richard X Moore, Virgin Points spokesperson, says: “We know Clubcard members love to travel and whilst people may find themselves less able to get away this winter (due to lockdown restrictions), we’re delighted to offer them this exclusive deal. The Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is proud to be Clubcard’s travel partner – offering reward flights across Europe and beyond – with Virgin Points that never expire.”
With Virgin Red – Virgin’s group-wide rewards club – and Flying Club, members can earn and spend Virgin Points – points which never expire – across a range of “lockdown” friendly rewards, including but not exclusive to:
- Earn and spend Virgin Points on wine, beer and spirits from Virgin Wines
- Earn and spend Virgin Points with the Stay at home collection from Virgin Experience Days, including:
- Chocolate truffle making masterclass
- Creative colouring online course
- Gin tasting kit and masterclass
- Photoshop training course
- Spend Virgin Points on savoury and sweet treats or hot drink takeaways from Greggs
- Earn Virgin Points with everyday spending on the Virgin Atlantic credit card
- Donate points to various national and regional charities
- Spend Virgin Points on a luxury candle from Virgin StartUp, Saint Fragrance
- Earn Virgin Points by switching your energy to Octopus Energy
- Earn points at retailers like Boots, Marks and Spencer, John Lewis & Partners or JustEat to name just a few…
- Earn points on your weekly shop, fuel and other products at Tesco by auto-exchanging Clubcard vouchers.
I have been given a preview of the new Virgin Red app which I will be reporting on very soon. You can read more about Virgin Points in this article.