Billionaire Sir Richard Branson has hit out at critics slamming him for requesting a government bail out of some companies in his Virgin empire.
Branson has said he will use his private island as security to raise money in an effort to protect jobs
He said in a blog post, “I’ve seen lots of comments about my net worth – but that is calculated on the value of Virgin businesses around the world before this crisis, not sitting as cash in a bank account ready to withdraw.
“Over the years significant profits have never been taken out of the Virgin Group, instead they have been reinvested in building businesses that create value and opportunities. The challenge right now is that there is no money coming in and lots going out.
“Today, the cash we have in the Virgin Group and my personal wealth is being invested across many companies around the world to protect as many jobs as possible, with a big part of that going to Virgin Atlantic.
“We will need government support to achieve that in the face of the severe uncertainty surrounding travel today and not knowing how long the planes will be grounded for. This would be in the form of a commercial loan – it wouldn’t be free money and the airline would pay it back.
“The reality of this unprecedented crisis is that many airlines around the world need government support and many have already received it. Without it there won’t be any competition left and hundreds of thousands more jobs will be lost, along with critical connectivity and huge economic value.