Sir Richard Branson warns his airlines will collapse without government cash

Sir Richard Branson has told staff that Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia will need financial help if they are to survive the coronavirus crisis.

The tycoon used an open letter to his 70,000 staff in 35 countries to reassure them he was “working day and night”, doing all he could to invest across his business interests despite “no money coming in and lots going out”.

He admitted his companies were exposed to many of the sectors worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – travel and leisure included – and also hit out at critics who have suggested he use his personal wealth to do more.

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