Virgin Atlantic files for bankruptcy, other airlines struggle

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Virgin Atlantic, the airline founded by British businessman Richard Branson, has become the latest business to file for bankruptcy in an effort to survive the pandemic that hammered the airline industry.

Virgin Atlantic, which has flights between the U.K. and the U.S., including out of Las Vegas, filed for Chapter 15 Tuesday to carry out a restructuring plan.

According to Associated Press, Branson appealed to the British government for financial help earlier this year — even saying that he would pledge his Caribbean island resort as collateral for a loan — but was rebuffed. The airline recently cut 3,500 jobs.

Airlines are dealing with huge losses during the pandemic after traveling restrictions forced airlines to operate at much less capacity and even park planes.

Airlines are reporting their second-quarter earnings and most show major financial losses. American Airlines’ revenue dropped more than 86% from the same time in 2019 and United Airlines suffered an 87% decline.

The International Air Transport Association, a trade group for global airlines, estimates the industry will lose $84 billion this year and revenue will drop by half from 2019 levels.

Other carriers that have filed for bankruptcy include Avianca, Latam which are Latin America airlines and Aeromexico.

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