March 16, 2020 / 12:56 PM / 15 days ago

Virgin Atlantic to ground up to 85% of fleet in coronavirus crisis

FILE PHOTO: A Virgin Atlantic Airbus comes in to land at Heathrow aiport in London, Britain, June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Virgin Atlantic, the UK-based airline, said it would ground 75% of its fleet by 26 March and by up to 85% at points in April, as it canceled more flights due to coronavirus.

Virgin, which is 51% owned by Richard Branson’s group and 49% owned by U.S. airline Delta (DAL.N), said it will also ask staff to take eight weeks unpaid leave over the next three months to try to cut costs but avoid job losses.

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton

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