The Guardian Australia is reporting that Virgin Australia will appoint Deloitte as an Administrator.
The Guardian said the move would mean that Virgin would become the biggest airline collapse in Australia. ABC News says the decision could happen as soon as tomorrow, with Fairfax Media saying the airline’s board will meet tonight and an administration announcement is “imminent”.
The airline currently has about $5 billion worth of debt and has been knocked back by the Australian Government after requesting a $1.4 billion loan. The news comes after the New South Wales Government offered the company financial support if it moved it’s headquarters to the site of the second Sydney airport being built. The Queensland state government offered $200 million support yesterday if the airline kept it’s HQ in Brisbane, resulting in a tug of war between the NSW and Queensland governments.
Voluntary Administration sees an independent person being appointed to take complete control of the business and try to find away to try and save it. If one can’t be found then the Administrator will aim to run the company in a way to get the best return for creditors. Administrators can return the business to the directors control, approve a deed of company arrangement through which the company will pay all or part of its debts and then be free of those debts or wind up a company and appoint a liquidator. Information on Administration can be found here.
Update: ABC Journalists Gavin Coote reports that Deloitte told him that they had been appointed as administrators.
Virgin Australia is the largest Virgin branded airline by fleet size, and is owned by Etihad (20.94%), Singapore Airlines (20.09%), Nanshan Group (19.98%), HNA Group (19.82%) and the Virgin Group (10.42%), with the remainder on the Australian Stock Exchange. The airline employs 10 000 people directly, with another 6000 people supported indirectly.