Aviation

Administrators shortlist Virgin bidders, as Velocity point redemptions resume

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

The administrators and advisors of Virgin Australia have whittled down the number of suitors after spending the weekend mulling over all the non-binding offers.

Deloitte’s Vaughan Strawbridge, who is leading the administration process, said in a statement released today that his team have now shortlisted a small number of “well-funded” parties with strong aviation credentials that are being invited to into the next stage.

“We are delighted by the strength of each of those on the shortlist, with parties selected being well-funded and possessing deep aviation experience,” he said.

“The parties have also worked constructively with the administration process and put forward credible indicative bids. Importantly, each has a plan for the business which can secure the future for thousands of Virgin Australia employees.

“These parties enable us to seek the best available commercial solution which we are all looking for, while meeting our responsibility to maximise the outcome for creditors and see the airline continue as one of the country’s two carriers serving Australians across cities and regions.”

Strawbridge said the administrators were “very pleased” so far with the progress of Virgin’s administration and sale process, noting “excellent engagement from highly-credentialed parties”.

“This has been very important to ensure not only the future employment of so many passionate members of the Virgin team, but the future of Australia’s second domestic airline, which is in the national interest of Australia,” he said.

Strawbridge also noted that the administrators received more interest than anticipated from parties who are eager to be a part of Virgin Australia’s future.

“We understand some parties will be disappointed that they have not been invited to continue their interest and we hope they will respect our decision which is predicated on the business continuing and achieving the best outcome for all people impacted,” he said.

“We thank all those who have been a part of our process to date.

“We cannot comment on who the shortlisted parties are due to confidentiality commitments, but we will be working intensely with them over the next four weeks to enable binding offers by mid-June.”

This will involve the sharing of more detailed financial and operational information, management workshops and meeting with as many of the financiers, landlords, suppliers, unions, and other stakeholders of the business as possible, according to Strawbridge.

“We are very excited about embarking on the next phase of the sale process and working with the shortlisted parties to see Virgin Australia restructured and come out of voluntary administration in a strong and sustainable position,” he said.

According to mainstream media reports, the four parties that have bid their way to the next round are Bain Capital, BGH Capital, Indigo Partners, and Cyrus Capital Partners.

Deloitte noted in an update on Friday that 19 parties had access to Virgin’s data room prior to the deadline for non-binding indicative offers, and eight of these were “sufficiently advanced” in their interest.

The next stage will see the shortlisted candidates submit binding offers by 12 June, with the administrators aiming to seal a deal by the end of June.

Velocity unfreezes point redemptions

Meanwhile, Virgin’s frequent flyer program has announced on Friday that members can now redeem their Velocity Points to fly on some of its most popular domestic routes for travel from 1 September 2020.

“We’re hopeful that domestic travel restrictions and state and territory border lockdowns ease by September, and for many of us, a local holiday and catching up with interstate family and friends will be well overdue,” a Velocity spokesperson told Travel Weekly.

“We look forward to sharing more offers with our members as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis and travel resumes more broadly.”

For those passengers who book a Virgin Australia Reward Seat or Any Seat before 1 September 2020 for travel after this time, the airline will waive fees for any changes or cancellations made until 1 September.

If passengers or Virgin cancel a flight before 1 September 2020, travellers will be refunded points/cash in full to the original form of payment, minus any booking or credit card fees.


Featured image: iStock/BeyondImages

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Tourism

Cover-More CEO exits

The global travel insurance provider has waved goodbye to its chief, but not before signing him up to a premium policy.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Afterpay makes online travel play

If COVID-19 wasn’t already enough of a challenge for travel agents, a new OTA has entered the ring.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism Malaysia’s new Aussie director on the destination’s big marketing shift

by Huntley Mitchell

The destination is placing much more of a focus on its digital presence and “smart partnerships”, as it looks to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

How are high flyers dealing with coronavirus? A new jet-to-yacht service seems to be the answer

Are you or your clients keen to avoid cattle class (or any class for that matter) on your first post-coronavirus flight? Start saving your pennies for this new service.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

STUDY: More than half of Aussies are keen to get travelling in the next six months

Find out where, when and how Aussies will hit the road once restrictions are lifted with this handy set of survey results.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Pandemic could push consumers to use agents over OTAs, says Barry Mayo

by Ali Coulton

The TravelManagers chairman has also predicted more bricks-and-mortar agents will make the switch to a home-based model, given the risk of further lockdowns.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Team behind Addicted to Maldives launches domestic-focused DMC

The new offering aims to help curate your clients’ domestic escapades so that you can give them their perfect post-lockdown getaway.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise Wrap: CLIA offers training to non-members, more lines extend pause in operations + MORE

Travel Weekly staff dread Cruise Wrap days because they usually result in our deputy editor singing Enya’s “Orinoco Flow”, until we lock her in a cupboard.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Australian adult entertainer removed from flight over comments about George Floyd protests

This story has a bit of everything – an airline, an adult entertainer and even the ongoing George Floyd protests in the US.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Uber to offer ‘world-first’ car rental option Down Under

by Christian Fleetwood

You’d assume the bosses over at Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, and Europcar won’t be too pleased to read this news.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Club Med’s Marnie Blanchetier

We sat down with Club Med’s head of marketing and director of sales for a chat and a few episodes of The New Pope, until she began to give us spoilers.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

REVEALED: The final two bidders for Virgin Australia

by Huntley Mitchell

Virgin Australia’s administrators have made a decision on which two bidders have made it through to the third and final round.

Share

CommentComments