Airline facing coronavirus-induced bankruptcy suffers wrath of Perth Airport authorities
Original story by Gary Leff April 24 from View from the Wing, abridged by Patti Pietschmann
Australia’s Perth Airport took drastic measures to stop a Virgin Australia Airbus A330 from taking off. Seems the airline owes them lots of money. Well they were. Here’s the story.
Virgin Australia is facing Chapter 11 (the Aussies call it ‘in administration.’ Apparently the airline is a long-time money loser. And now a victim of the coronavirus pandemic since the Australia government refuses to bail it out.
Still flying despite it all
Virgin Australia is still operating a few flights that the government is supporting for ‘essential’ domestic travel.
However Perth airport has taken liens against four Virgin Australia planes. The airline reportedly owes about $10 million in unpaid fees. Consequently airport authorities took matters into their own hands. And with a bulldozer no less, to block an Airbus A330 from taking off.
Kind of drastic measures. However these aren’t planes Virgin Australia is currently using. If they emerge from administration they aren’t likely to need their full fleet anyway.
Virgin Australia is part of Sir Richard Branson’s enterprises. The billionaire entrepreneur’s Virgin Voyages, which was due to launch in April, is also a victim of the coronavirus epidemic is under control.
About Gary Leff
Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel – a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the “World’s Top Travel Experts” by Conde’ Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty.