Finance Finance News Government unimpressed by Virgin plea for a bailout

Government unimpressed by Virgin plea for a bailout

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Virgin's administrators want a sale finalised by June. Photo: Getty
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Virgin’s pleas for a $1.4 billion government bailout look unlikely to get off the runway, despite the airline being on the brink of collapse.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is instead putting pressure on the company’s shareholders.

“They’ve got deep pockets,” he told ABC radio on Thursday.

Mr Frydenberg said the government was continuing to talk to the company as well as Qantas, having already provided more than $1 billion in relief for the aviation industry.

“We want to see Virgin continue, we want to see two airlines in the domestic market, but we’re not in the business of owning an airline,” he said.

“Where our focus has been is on providing industry-wide support.”

There has been a great deal of support in the media for a government-backed bail out of Virgin Australia.

The company is a major advertiser in mainstream news publications.

Virgin on Thursday announced a further seven-day trading halt for its shares to continue talks on financial aid and restructuring alternatives to help it weather the crisis.

But the airline didn’t identify who the talks are with.

Reuters reports Virgin is also in talks with creditors about debt restructuring options such as a debt-for-equity swap and has hired UBS, Morgan Stanley, Houlihan Lokey and Deloitte as advisers.

A person with knowledge of the matter told the news agency that entering voluntary administration was a last resort but the airline believes it needs a decision on government aid by next week.

-with AAP