Britain: Aviation giants lobby for Virgin Atlantic

Britain’s biggest airport and some of the aviation industry’s biggest manufacturers are mounting a frantic lobbying campaign to secure taxpayer support for Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Airbus, Rolls-Royce Holdings and Heathrow Airport have this week written separately to Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, to urge the government to “do all it can to support Virgin in these extremely difficult times”.

In one letter, John Harrison, general counsel and UK chairman of Airbus, warned that Virgin Atlantic’s “collapse could have an extremely negative impact on the A330 [aircraft manufacturing] programme”.

“As you will be aware, all wings for these aircraft are designed and manufactured in the UK, and orders from airlines like Virgin are vital for the continuation of our business,” Mr Harrison wrote.

Similar messages are understood to have been communicated by Heathrow and Rolls-Royce, both of which are also significant customers of Virgin Atlantic.

One industry source said the letters had been written at the instigation of the British airline.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *