Airbus, Rolls-Royce Holdings and Heathrow airport are among the businesses which have leant their support to calls for Virgin Atlantic to receive taxpayer support, according to Sky News.

The airline has appealed to the government for an emergency loan with a decision expected late this week or early next. A cash injection is likely to see the carrier part nationalised.

The Sky News report said the manufacturers and Heathrow had written separately to transport secretary Grant Shapps to ask the government to “do all it can to support Virgin in these extremely difficult times”.

Senior representatives of Virgin Atlantic met Rothschilds, the financial advisory group working with the government on support for aviation, last Friday to present the case for a loan.

They did so after Chancellor Rishi Sunak ruled out a general bail-out of the sector but pledged to consider “bespoke support as a last resort” for carriers “having exhausted other options”.