Virgin Australia has requested for a trading suspension following a trading halt, while it continues to work out funding options.
Australia’s second-largest carrier requested a trading halt on 14 April, due to end this morning, to discuss financing and restructuring alternatives.
The airline is now requesting a suspension for seven days from today or until it makes an announcement, whichever is first.
According to Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listing rules, both trading halts and trading suspensions can be requested on a voluntary basis but the maximum permitted duration of a trading halt is generally two trading days.
Virgin Australia said in an ASX disclosure today: “Whilst this consideration and these discussions have continued over the last two days including discussions which remain confidential and incomplete, the company is not presently in a position to make an announcement to the market with respect to these matters.”
It adds, “In particular the company requests that trading in its securities be suspended to enable this consideration and these discussions to continue so as to ensure the market is not trading in the relevant securities on an uninformed basis.”
With nearly all its operations grounded due to travel restrictions to halt the spread of Covid-19, Virgin Australia has requested a A$1.4 billion ($880 million) bailout from the government.
Canberra has yet to directly address whether it will grant the request, and ministers point to relief packages already announced for the country’s aviation sector.
Financially stronger compatriot Qantas has managed to secure A$1.05 billion in debt funding against seven of its Boeing 787-9s. Chief executive Alan Joyce said in March, before Virgin’s bailout request, that the government should treat all airlines equally.