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Fight on for Virgin Australia and Qantas to Secure Government Bailout

·1-min read

By Gina Lee - It’s the battle of the airlines down under for cash as Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX:VAH) requests a government bailout in the billions.

Virgin confirmed on Tuesday morning that it had requested an AUD 1.4 billion ($860.99 million) bailout from the government. An ASX announcement added that this was "subject to approval by the Virgin Australia Holdings board and the Australian Government" and "may or may not include conversion to equity in certain circumstances".

Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX:QAN) CEO Alan Joyce waded into the fray later in the morning, telling the Scott Morrison government that the airline expects a $4.2 billion loan to "level the playing field" if it bails out its much smaller rival.

This contrasted with Joyce’s earlier statement that Qantas is not seeking a bailout. But as the COVID-19 pandemic cuts the number of flights, Joyce noted that airlines are facing a "survival of the fittest" scenario globally.

Qantas already raised about $1 billion loan last week, secured against its fleet.

Qantas stocks were up 3.13% to A$3.30 by 12:14 PM ET (05:14 AM GMT), whilst Virgin Australian shares jumped 15% to A$0.092.

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