Virgin Atlantic postpones its IPO plan until early 2022 – source

LONDON (Reuters) – Virgin Atlantic, the British airline founded by billionaire Richard Branson, has postponed its listing plan until early 2022 to focus on reopening the transatlantic market, a person familiar with the matter said.

The United States has said it will allow admission of fully vaccinated travelers from Britain and dozens of other countries in November, completely reopening Virgin Atlantic’s main market for the first time in 18 months.

Virgin had been considering a float this fall according to information released in August, but will now wait until next year so that it can focus on and benefit from the broader restart of travel between Britain and the United States. , said the person.

Bookings jumped 600% on the day the United States announced the rule change, Virgin said on September 21.

The airline, 51% owned by Branson through its Virgin group while US group Delta Air Lines Inc owns the rest, declined to comment on its IPO plans.

Most airlines struggled financially during the pandemic, but the long shutdown of U.S. routes has made the crisis worse for long-haul specialist Virgin. He survived thanks to a £ 1.5 billion bailout between September 2020 and March 2021.

In addition to the IPO, Virgin was also considering other financing options, the person added.

(Reporting by Sarah Young, editing by Paul Sandle)

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