The airline made the Chapter 15 filing in US federal bankruptcy court in New York after a proceeding in the UK.
A spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic said the bankruptcy filing is part of a court process in the UK to carry out a restructuring plan that the airline announced last month.
The process is supported by a majority of the airline’s creditors, and the company hopes to emerge from the process in September, she said.
A Virgin Atlantic lawyer said in a court filing the company needs an order from a US court to make terms of the restructuring apply in the US.
The airline is primarily a longhaul operator, including flights between the UK and the US It stopped flying in April due to the pandemic and only resumed flights in July. It closed a base at London’s Gatwick Airport and cut about 3,500 jobs. Branson appealed to the British government
for financial help earlier this year even saying that he would pledge his Caribbean island resort as collateral for a loan but was rebuffed.
Last month, Virgin Atlantic announced that it had put together a deal to raise 1.2 bn pounds (nearly $1.6 bn at current exchange rates) from private sources, including 200 million pounds from Branson’s Virgin Group.