Davidson Kempner played a pivotal role in Virgin Atlantic’s rescue after the UK Government snubbed repeated requests for a taxpayer bailout.
Sceptics questioned whether the deal, which came as Virgin Atlantic cut more than 4,500 jobs, provided sufficient reserves if travel restrictions continued well into 2021.
But accounts to be published at Companies House in the coming days, and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, reveal the airline’s auditors were prepared to sign off the company’s finances.
Nevertheless, KPMG did red flag the accounts. The accountant said that there was “material uncertainty” over Virgin Atlantic’s ability to operate as a going concern – a disclosure that will cast continued doubt over the airline’s long-term future.
Other airlines have secured UK taxpayer support in recent weeks. British Airway received a £2bn state-backed loan on Dec 31 and easyJet agreed £1.4bn of Government-backed funding on Friday evening.
A spokesman for Virgin Atlantic said: “We continue to explore financing opportunities to strengthen our balance sheet.
“With the implementation of testing regimes, a reduction in UK quarantine policy and the mass roll out of vaccines on the horizon, customer demand for travel in 2021 has been gradually returning. Meanwhile, on the back of a record 2020, Virgin Atlantic Cargo continues to keep global supply chains running.
“We are confident that Virgin Atlantic will emerge from the Covid-19 crisis a sustainably profitable airline, with a healthy balance sheet.”