Qantas plans US, UK flights for July, subject to borders, vaccines

Original article by Karen Sweeney
The New Daily – Page: Online : 6-Jan-21

Qantas has begun selling tickets for overseas flights for as early as July, despite increased COVID-19 rates overseas. A Qantas spokesman noted that the resumption of international flights was dependent on vaccine rollouts and border reopenings, while Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has observed that it will be the government that decides when international travel can resume; he noted the government is working on travel arrangements with countries that have low infection rates.

CORPORATES
QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN

Australian travel reboot off to a flying start

Original article by Robyn Ironside
The Australian – Page: 5 : 23-Nov-20

Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi says he is very excited about the reopening of the New South Wales border to Victoria, with flights between Melbourne and Sydney increasing from just four a day to 42. Strambi says Melbourne Airport will reach around 33 per cent of its normal activity level in December, having been down to less than one per cent at one point. Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce says the reopening of the NSW-Victoria border is a "big milestone in Australia opening back up", while Virgin Australia pilot Robert Ricketts undertook his first flight since May on 22 November.

CORPORATES
MELBOURNE AIRPORT, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED

Qantas lodges JobKeeper appeal

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 15-Oct-20

Qantas will appeal the Federal Court’s recent ruling that the airline has misused the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme. Lawyers have warned that the court’s ruling has implications for all businesses that pay employees in arrears. The Business Council of Australia and the Council of Small Business Organisations are among the employers’ groups that will lobby the federal government to fix the anomaly, which arises if a business has a different pay cycle to that of JobKeeper’s fortnightly pay cycle.

CORPORATES
QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

Don’t vote down Bain out of spite: unionist

Original article by Robyn Ironside
The Australian – Page: 15 : 10-Aug-20

Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah said recently that it would retrench a third of its workforce to help it return to profit and to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association secretary Steve Purvinas says he is concerned to hear talk that some of those who will lose their job have indicated they plan to vote against the airline’s deal with Bain Capital. He contends a ‘no’ vote would amount to spite, while Purvinas says backing an alternative proposal to Bain’s that has been put forward by bondholders would not help employees.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, AUSTRALIAN LICENSED AIRCRAFT ENGINEERS’ ASSOCIATION, BAIN CAPITAL LLC

Bain pumps crucial $125m into Virgin

Original article by Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 & 14 : 14-Jul-20

Virgin Australia aims to have 35 per cent of its pre-COVID-19 capacity in the sky by the end of August, according to the minutes of a committee of inspection meeting. The minutes also reveal that Virgin’s prospective new owner, Bain Capital, injected $125 million into the airline on 1 July to insure its immediate survival. The committee of inspection comprises a group of around 30 Virgin creditors, and lead administrator Vaughan Strawbridge says the committee has endorsed the sale of the airline to Bain Capital.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, BAIN CAPITAL LLC

Bondholders move to stop sale of Virgin

Original article by Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 22 : 7-Jul-20

Deloitte will oppose an application for the Takeovers Panel to halt the sale of Virgin Australia to private equity firm Bain Capital. Virgin’s bondholders want its creditors to be given an opportunity to vote on their proposal to recapitalise the failed airline; this includes a debt-for-equity swap and relisting Virgin on the sharemarket. A spokesman for Deloitte says the administrators believe that the application to the Takeovers Panel is without merit and the sale to Bain is the best outcome for all creditors.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, BAIN CAPITAL LLC

Shareholders likely to miss out altogether from Virgin sale

Original article by Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 1-Jul-20

Virgin Australia’s joint administrator Richard Hughes has advised that the failed airline’s creditors are unlikely to be repaid in full. He has also warned that Virgin’s shareholders are highly unlikely to receive any payout from its US-based private equity firm Bain Capital. Sources close to several of Virgin’s five major foreign shareholders have indicated that this outcome had been expected. Bain Capital will formally take control of Virgin on 1 July.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, BAIN CAPITAL LLC

Hard landing for Qantas workers

Original article by Robyn Ironside, Damon Kitney
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 26-Jun-20

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce will remain at the helm for another three years to oversee the national carrier’s coronavirus recovery plan. This will include reducing costs by $15bn over three years and shedding 6,000 employees across its operations. The job cuts will include more than 1,000 cabin crew, some 1,500 ground crew and 630 engineers. The redundancies will cost about $600m in total, while the 15,000 employees who were stood down earlier in 2020 will not return to work in the near-term. ACTU president Michele O’Neil has criticised the job cuts, accusing Qantas of abandoning its workers at "their time of greatest need". Meanwhile, Qantas will increase its liquidity via a $1.9bn capital raising.

CORPORATES
QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, ACTU

Bond holder bid shakes Virgin

Original article by Robyn Ironside, Damon Kitney
The Australian – Page: 13 & 17 : 25-Jun-20

Virgin Australia’s administrator Vaughan Strawbridge has been presented with a debt-for-equity proposal from about 5,500 of the failed airline’s bond holders. They would receive shares in Virgin and provide an $800m capital injection for the airline, which would remain a listed company if their proposal is accepted. The bond holders would have the option of immediately selling their shares and receiving about $0.70 for every dollar that they are owed. Bond holders contend that it is best outcome for Virgin and its employees. Strawbridge is slated to select the preferred private equity bidder within days.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED

Growing Virgin bondholders group emerges as kingmaker

Original article by Lucas Baird
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 27 : 16-Jun-20

Final, binding offers for failed airline Virgin Australia are due on 22 June, with a decision on whether Bain Capital or Cyrus Capital Partners gets chosen as the successful bidder due at the second creditors’ meeting in mid-August. Unsecured bond and note holders in Virgin are owed around $2 billion, and a group of them has increased to almost 6,000 members in recent weeks; the group is getting advice from law firms Faraday and Corrs Chambers Westgarth on the sales process. Jason Harris from the University of Sydney Law School says any sales agreement that results in the bondholders getting little in the way of their money back is likely to be challenged in court.

CORPORATES
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VAH, BAIN CAPITAL LLC, CYRUS CAPITAL PARTNERS LP, FARADAY AND KENT, CORRS CHAMBERS WESTGARTH, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN