It seems that people all around the world are definitely not happy with the current attitude of Sir Richard Branson, the flamboyant English billionaire who is popularly known for his whacky adventures. As a result of the ongoing deadly coronavirus pandemic, Branson's Virgin Atlantic airline has been smashed particularly hard by the economic crisis. Virgin Atlantic's Australian division has halted all of its operations, which has caused overwhelming panic among the employees regarding the safety of their jobs.

A flight attendant working with Virgin Atlantic's Australian team recently published an emotional one-minute video clip that went absolutely viral on the internet.

In the clip, the attendant bursts into tears while delivering an in-flight message. The attendant told the passengers that this flight is most probably their last one, however, these tough times aren't going to last much longer because we will surely overcome this. Many of the airline's staff launched a campaign on social media app TikTok in a final attempt to protect their careers. Branson has promised the Australian staff that this is not the end of the airline.

Petition aiming to strip Branson of his knighthood

The 69-year-old billionaire has requested the United Kingdom government to help his Virgin Atlantic airline by providing his company a bailout amounting to $620 million. This request comes as a severe shock to several of the country's citizens since he hasn't paid a single dime in taxes for the last 14 years.

Due to his bailout request, a Change.org petition has been initiated which essentially aims to strip the business magnate of his knighthood. Branson was knighted by the Queen in March of 2000 at Buckingham Palace for his significant contribution towards the field of entrepreneurship.

As of now, the online petition, which says in its description that Branson is a disgrace to the UK, has garnered more than 13,000 signatures.

Last month, Branson came under a ton of scrutiny when it was announced that Virgin Atlantic's employees were being furloughed for a period of about eight weeks and are not going to get paid until the airline resumes its operations. Branson, who has a net worth of about $4.2 billion, had agreed to put his $80 million Necker Island as collateral to keep his company running.

Notably, Virgin Atlantic isn't fully owned by Branson as the US-based Delta Airlines holds a 49 percent stake in the struggling company. The petition targeting Branson argues that what he is trying to get away with by requesting a bailout is simply wrong because the UK government cannot help a firm that is partially owned by an American corporation. According to Metro, the Change.org petition was launched by a 26-year-old activist who wishes to remain anonymous.

Branson's dispute with the NHS and taxation activities

In 2016, Branson and his Virgin Group's healthcare division called ‘Virgin Care’ was heavily bashed by the United Kingdom's news media outlets and prominent Celebrities because of a dispute that had emerged between Virgin and the National Health Service.

The disagreement began when Virgin lost a contract worth $82 million to operate children's services in Surrey, a county in South East England. At the time, the Virgin Group said that it truly believes there are various issues in the procurement procedure.

In 2017, the National Health Service in England ultimately decided to settle the lawsuit by paying Virgin Care an amount that hasn't been disclosed to the public. Shortly after the NHS lawsuit was settled, Richard Branson sent a tweet from his personal twitter account, saying that he doesn't believe materialistic stuff brings happiness. Former Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, replied to that tweet by advising Branson to give NHS England its money back.

Numerous social media users are also irritated by Branson over his shady taxation practices. One such irritated user said that the UK government should not help the billionaire in any way because neither he nor his company is based in the United Kingdom. While another furious user commented that Branson has enjoyed quite a flamboyant lifestyle until now by avoiding taxes on almost every single thing. So now, he should take some money out of his $4.2 billion fortune and put those funds in Virgin Atlantic.

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