Virgin owner pledging $250M to help employees amid coronavirus crisis

Richard Branson, English business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group. (MGN)

Billionaire Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Atlantic, said he's going to help his employees as they deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Branson says he's going to give $250 million to workers to protect them and save their jobs, calling the current pandemic "the most crisis the world has experienced in my lifetime."

"We are supporting our people and our businesses in their fight for survival in numerous ways. We are providing a quarter of billion dollars over the next weeks and months to protect them and save jobs - that is likely just the start," Branson wrote in his blog. "The chances of securing widespread economic recovery will depend critically upon governments around the world successfully mobilising various newly announced support programmes, which in these unique circumstances will be essential to protect people’s livelihoods."

According to Branson, Virgin Airlines had to ground almost all of their planes, the cruise line had to postpone its launch and health clubs and hotels have had to close their doors.

"Our people have and, will always be, my number one priority," Branson said. "It is their future job security and their well-being that I am 100 percent focusing on, in these frightening and unprecedented times."