Billionaire Sir Richard Branson has warned that the coronavirus outbreak is “the most significant crisis the world has experienced in my lifetime”.
He has outlined plans to inject $250m (£215m) into his Virgin empire, in a blog post published overnight.
Branson said the coronavirus has hurt his businesses (which employ 70,000 people) badly: “Because many of our businesses are in industries like travel, leisure and wellness, they are in a massive battle to survive and save jobs.
“Our airlines have had to ground almost all their planes; our cruise line has had to postpone its launch; our health clubs and hotels have had to close their doors and all bookings to our holiday company have stopped.”
And while Branson is committing “a quarter of billion dollars over the next weeks and months” to protect them and save jobs, he’s looking for government support too:
“The chances of securing widespread economic recovery will depend critically upon governments around the world successfully mobilising various newly announced support programmes, which in these unique circumstances will be essential to protect people’s livelihoods.”