Virgin Atlantic boss warns fall in value of pound is ‘hurting consumers’

Sterling’s fall in value is “hurting consumers”, the boss of Virgin Atlantic has warned.

Shai Weiss, chief executive of the transatlantic airline, urged Prime Minister Liz Truss to take a “difficult decision” which will boost the currency’s value.

Economists fear sterling could slump to parity with the US dollar this year for the first time.

It sat at about 1.08 US dollars on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference in central London, he said: “The weakness of the pound is hurting, not Virgin Atlantic, it’s hurting the economy and it’s hurting consumers because it’s actually fulfilling or fuelling the inflation vicious cycle that we’re in.

“We buy planes and fuel in dollars. Thankfully we took some very smart financial positions that will ease the burden of the decline in the pound over the next 12 months.

“The message to Government is pretty clear in my mind. Prime Minister Liz Truss has taken difficult decisions upon entering into the role.

“Maybe you need to take a more difficult decision to reverse the declining pound and ensure that this country is not left with unsustainable perceived weakness in international markets, which of course then impact interest rates, impact consumers, impact mortgage rates, impact the entire economy.

“So yes, we are concerned. The fundamentals are strong, but we’re concerned of course like everyone else in this country with the economic environment in which we operate.”

He continued: “Sometimes all of us in this room should be humble enough to say: ‘If I did something that is not working, maybe I should reverse course.’

“That is not a bad thing to do.”

Mr Weiss said the weakness of the pound means the UK is “on sale” for inbound tourists.

He added: “If you want to come and see the new King for half price, fly Virgin Atlantic.”