Bailout of airlines….what do we get in return

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  • SimonS1

    What do we get in return? Interesting thought. At the moment “flag” carriers are returning citizens to their home countries and providing cargo services to bring in essential PPE and other goods. If there is no “flag” carrier who is going to take their place? Is this sufficient reason to support at least one “flag” carrier?

    Interesting thought. I wonder if you need a flag carrier for that. There are plenty of cargo airlines around (or even cargo divisions of regular airlines) who presumably will carry on as before and may even scale up activity.

    On the other hand belly freight clearly is substantial, so maybe you do…



    France is to bar companies headquartered in tax havens or with subsidiaries benefiting from low-tax regimes from receiving any government aid during the coronavirus crisis.

    The country has pledged to stump up billions to help companies avoid folding during the nationwide lockdown, which is set to be gradually lifted beyond essential sectors starting from May 11. But unions have warned that some bosses may seek to pocket state aid rather than using it to ensure employees keep their jobs.

    Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said: ”It goes without saying that if a company has its fiscal headquarters or any subsidiaries in a tax haven, and I insist strongly on this point, it will not be able to benefit from the state aid.

    France has already indicated that companies who buy back their own shares or pay dividends during the crisis will be barred from state aid.

    “There are rules that must be respected. If you want state aid, you cannot pay dividends and you cannot buy your own stock,” he said. “And if your headquarters is in a tax haven, obviously you cannot benefit from any public support,” he said.

    And rightly so, so that people like Beardy B who have set up an opaque and devious framework of secretive holding structures in ‘tax friendly’ regimes to minimise paying UK taxes, albeit that such structures may be legal, should be denied state aid. His business empire and personal wealth have been based on devious confidence tricks, fraud, and lies, and as such I shan’t be shedding any tears if his companies to go bust. Of course his employees deserve sympathy and support, but as for him, nothing, and may it wipe the smug smirk off his face.

    The VS question is a tricky one. Delta own 49%, and are actually waiting for VS to settle an outstanding loan. They have said publicly they will not invest further, and indeed I am not sure they would be allowed to anyway.

    On the face of it, much of Branson’s “wealth” is the accumulated value of the Virgin businesses, and whilst I am sure he has significant personal wealth, it is misleading for the press to say he is worth £5bn, as this merely stokes the “fat cat billionaire wipe the smile off his face” nonsense.

    I am not in any way a defender of the guy, but I think that personality needs to be taken out of the debate as it is getting in the way. How many 000’s of employees of VS pay income tax, make NI contributions? How many 000’s work for businesses which supply VS, paying income tax and making NI contributions? A properly structured loan, with all the right conditions attached (and not a “tax payer handout”) MAY be a better outcome than simply letting the airline fold.

    I see the quoted figures for Branson’s wealth falling by the week. The latest one I saw (yesterday) was 3.5 billion.


    I see the quoted figures for Branson’s wealth falling by the week. The latest one I saw (yesterday) was 3.5 billion.

    So our choices are pretty much ….

    1) Free Market blood bath with jobs strewn across the land , and tax payers contributing via unemployment benefit payments (huge)
    2) Social democratic state aid interventions. protecting shareholders , fat cats & importantly employees as we taxpayers prop up currently unsustainable businesses
    3) At no cost to the taxpayer , we encourage individuals to part with a percentage of their unimaginable wealth that can only be described as immorally high digital fortunes built on the back of their workers .

    I wonder what option we can discount !!


    canucklad said, “I wonder what option we can discount !!”

    No – I know what to do – [1] give Branson a new pilot’s hat, [2] get the lease for Necker Island off him, [3] make him strip all the seats out of all Virgin Atlantic planes and put them on air cargo runs. Job done


    Re # 3 above

    You may have missed this thread. VS now turning to cargo.

    Virgin Atlantic goes cargo-only to Tel Aviv

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    In the US, this is an easy topic. Our domestic airlines will get whatever they want from the US government, they will continue reducing comfort, being miserly with pax, treating their employees badly. Seems that no matter how bad a flight gets, people still clamour to fill the seats. Major criteria for most pax is cheap. So why not squeeze even more from your customers? It’s all about the money, no customer service need show its face anywhere in an airline.

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