Entrepreneur Richard Branson is set to invest US$250 million into the Virgin Group as the company battles the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
“This is the most significant crisis the world has experienced in my lifetime,” said Branson.
“Millions of people and thousands of businesses are being severely impacted by the ongoing pandemic.”
Among the companies hit are Virgin Atlantic, which has drastically cut services, and Virgin Voyages, a new cruise line that has been forced to delay its debut season.
Branson said there are more than 70,000 people across 35 countries who work in Virgin companies, all of whom have been deeply affected by the pandemic.
“Because many of our businesses are in industries like travel, leisure and wellness, they are in a massive battle to survive and save jobs,” he explained.
“Our airlines have had to ground almost all their planes; our cruise line has had to postpone its launch; our health clubs and hotels have had to close their doors and all bookings to our holiday company have stopped.”
In response, Branson said he was investing the funds to protect jobs.
“I remember the days and weeks after 9/11, when all airlines and travel companies took extremely painful decisions to make redundancies…