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Richard Branson Just Offered His Most Prized Possession as Collateral to Save Sinking Airline Company

The coronavirus pandemic’s negative effects are felt by all rich or poor. As the common man is left dealing with unemployment and financial instability, their big bosses face a lot of uncertainties when it comes to the future of their companies.

Such is the case with billionaire Richard Branson, who’s reportedly willing to potentially lose his private island to save his airline.

Collateral Offer

The 30-hectare island is located in the British Virgin Islands and houses luxury facilities

According to CNN, the 69-year-old business magnate is offering his own privately owned island in the Caribbean as collateral in seeking financial support from the governments of the United Kingdom and Australia.

The offer came amidst the economic downturn that the coronavirus crisis caused around the world. The British billionaire has already put a whopping $250 million into his business ventures under the Virgin Group to keep them afloat.

However, it seems that the amount didn’t do enough as he’s now seeking loans from the state. Writing to employees at Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic, Branson revealed that he’s hoping to raise as much money on Necker Island as possible to save as many jobs as he can within his companies.

Addressing the Critics

The Virgin Group reportedly employs around 71,000 people spread throughout 35 countries

In the same letter, he also addressed the many criticisms he received after people pointed out how he doesn’t even pay tax income in the UK yet is still asking for support from its government. Branson is reportedly a full-time resident of his Caribbean island at the moment.

He argued though that the Virgin companies remain in the country and continue to pay taxes there. It’s only him that does not.

It’s currently still unclear just how much money the billionaire would need. A report from Financial Times, meanwhile, noted that the UK government asked Branson’s company to resubmit an original loan request of a whopping $622.2 million.

Industry-Wide Struggles

Forbes predicted that airlines would be seeing losses of $252 billion passenger revenue during the height of the pandemic

Safe to say, it isn’t only Branson who’s been facing troubles. The entire travel industry has taken massive hits from the country lockdowns and flight halts that happened in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus.

Those airlines in Australia and Europe are particularly in a harder place than their American counterparts, who have been granted a bailout with the approval of the coronavirus economic stimulus package.

The rest of these airlines are now needing to approach their own country’s government for financial aid on a case to case basis.

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