Virgin Atlantic has filed for bankruptcy in the United States as the aviation sector continues to battle the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UK-based airline is seeking protection under chapter 15 of the US bankruptcy code.
The move is designed to allow a foreign debtor to shield assets in the country.
Virgin Atlantic took the decision just weeks after securing a comprehensive recapitalisation.
Shareholders and equity investors injected £1.2 billion in the airline, allowing it to restart flights in mid-July.
The carrier said in a US bankruptcy court filing that it had sought to negotiate a deal with stakeholders “for a consensual recapitalisation” that will get debt off its balance sheet.
It is hoped the latest decision will “immediately position it for sustainable long-term growth”.
The filing is tied to a separate action filed in a British court, where Virgin Atlantic obtained approval on Tuesday to convene meetings of affected creditors to vote on the plan on August 25th.
In May, Virgin Atlantic, which is 51 per cent owned by Virgin Group and 49 per cent by US airline Delta, announced that it would cut more than 3,000 jobs in the UK and close its operation at Gatwick airport.
Virgin added it was continuing to operate a limited schedule flying to Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles and Barbados from its London Heathrow base.
All upcoming flight and holiday bookings remain valid, the company added.
A statement from Virgin Atlantic said: “In order to progress the private-only solvent recapitalisation of the airline, the restructuring plan is going through a court-sanctioned process under Part 26A of the Companies Act 2006, to secure approval from all relevant creditors before implementation.
“With support already secured from the majority of stakeholders, it’s expected that the restructuring plan and recapitalisation will come into effect in September.
“We remain confident in the plan.”