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Virgin Atlantic set to seal rescue deal after London judge approves plan

FILE PHOTO: Virgin Atlantic and TUI Airways aircraft are seen at Manchester Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Manchester, Britain, June 8, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Virgin Atlantic’s 1.2 billion pound ($1.6 billion) rescue deal is set for completion this week after a London judge sanctioned the airline’s restructuring plan in a court hearing on Wednesday.

Judge Richard Snowden gave the go ahead to the plan, which is aimed at helping the airline survive the coronavirus crisis and which creditors voted in favour of last week.

“This will allow you to make this plan effective by Friday which I understand is your aspiration,” Snowden told a remote hearing at London’s High Court.

A procedural court hearing is scheduled for Thursday in the United States so that the deal can be recognised there, but Snowden said that the court order was not conditional on the U.S. process.

Virgin Atlantic, which is being advised by law firm Allen & Overy on the restructuring plan and the wider recapitalisation, had projected that the airline would run out of cash at the end of September unless the deal was approved.

“Achieving this significant milestone puts Virgin Atlantic in a position to rebuild its balance sheet, restore customer confidence and welcome passengers back to the skies, safely, as soon as they are ready to travel,” a spokeswoman for the airline said.

($1 = 0.7482 pounds)

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Kate Holton

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