Logos sit on the tailfins of Virgin Atlantic aircraft at Gatwick airport in Crawley, UK, on Thursday, January 10, 2013. (File photo)

Virgin Atlantic set for US$1.25 billion rescue: Global Virus Update

Logos sit on the tailfins of Virgin Atlantic aircraft at Gatwick airport in Crawley, UK, on Thursday, January 10, 2013. (File photo)

Virgin Atlantic Set for $1.25 Billion Rescue

Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. is poised to announce a rescue worth at least 1 billion pounds ($1.25 billion), after clearing the last major hurdle to the deal, according to people familiar with the matter. Negotiations with credit-card processors holding back some 200 million pounds of sales have been resolved, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing a confidential matter.

The rescue will mark a coup for billionaire founder Richard Branson, who managed to secure a private bailout after the U.K. government refused to contribute taxpayer funds when Virgin Atlantic was grounded by the coronavirus crisis.

Florida Posts Record 132 Deaths

COVID-19 deaths among Florida residents rose by a record 132 to 4,409, according to a report Tuesday, which includes data through Monday.

Florida reported 291,629 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, up 3.3% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 4.6% in the previous seven days.

Germany Considers Local Travel Restrictions

Germany’s federal government is in discussions with states about rules that would prevent residents in an area hit by a coronavirus outbreak from traveling, Angela Merkel said Tuesday. People would only be allowed to leave the area if they have a negative test, the chancellor said, noting that she supports the plan.

Iqvia, AstraZeneca Collaborate On Potential Vaccine

Iqvia said the collaboration with AstraZeneca will drive faster delivery of clinical studies in the US aimed at demonstrating efficacy of AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Delta Sees US Virus Surge Stalling Rebound

Delta Air Lines said the virus resurgence and related travel restrictions have stalled a fledgling recovery in US travel demand and prompted it to slash the number of flights it had hoped to return to its schedule next month. The airline will add back no more than 500 flights in August instead of the planned 1,000. It doesn’t expect to add much more through the end of this year.

Carnival Visits Debt Markets a Third Time

Cruise ship operator Carnival Corp. is back in the debt markets this week, adding around $1 billion to the nearly $7 billion it’s borrowed since the pandemic devastated the international tourism trade.

The world’s largest cruise group is selling bonds to international investors in both euros and US dollars, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public yet.

Austria Widens Landing Ban

Austria added 10 countries to its aircraft landing ban, while allowing flights from Milan again. Aircraft coming from Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia and the other non-EU countries of former Yugoslavia, as well as Egypt and Moldova, won’t be allowed to land in Austria starting Thursday, according to a new decree. The ban on flights from the U.K., Sweden, Portugal, Iran, China, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus remains.

COVID-Linked Deaths in England & Wales Fall to 15 Week-Low

The number of coronavirus-linked fatalities in England and Wales accounts for just 5.8% of total deaths in the countries, the Office for National Statistics said. The total remains below the five-year average for the third consecutive week.

EU Set to Keep Borders Shut to Americans

The European Union will recommend keeping its external borders shut to Americans and most other foreigners for at least two more weeks as fears grow of a second coronavirus wave, according to three officials familiar with the matter.

A resurgence in virus cases around the world is hampering European efforts to emerge from national lockdowns and revive domestic economies as the summer tourist season gets underway.

Hong Kong Tightens Rules

Hong Kong ordered gyms and bars to close for a week, restored strict limits on public gatherings and introduced fines for anyone refusing to wear a mask on public transport in a fresh bid to prevent the resurgent coronavirus from spiralling out of control.

The financial hub reported 40 local cases on Tuesday, bringing the total outbreak to 224 people in around a week. The tougher measures, to take effect Wednesday, include limiting public gatherings to a maximum of four people. Hong Kong will require inbound travelers who have been to high-risk regions.

Second UK Wave Could Lead to 120,000 Deaths

A potential new wave of infections this winter poses a serious risk to the UK and could lead to as many as 120,000 hospital deaths from September to June, according to a report.

A second wave of COVID-19 could be more serious than the first as the National Health Service deals with a backlog of patients needing assessment and treatment and a potential outbreak of annual seasonal flu, researchers from the country’s Academy of Medical Sciences said.

New Cases in Russia Rise

Russia’s virus response center reported a 0.9% rise in new infections, or 6,248 cases, raising the total to 739,947. The agency said 175 people died of the disease in the past day, bringing the total death toll to 11,614. The mortality rate is 1.57% of confirmed cases.

UK Economic Growth Misses Forecast

The UK economy grew at a slower-than-expected pace in May even as the government eased some of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Gross domestic product rose 1.8% from April, when it plunged by a record 20.3%, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday. That’s lower than the 5.5% forecast for the month, and it left output down by 19.1% in the latest three months.