Virgin Atlantic (VS, London Heathrow) is reportedly trying to secure the support of American payments group First Data in its efforts to finalise a GBP1 billion pound (USD1.26 million) rescue deal, according to Sky News.

First Data has made harsh demands if it is to back the airline, the report said, such as insisting it must hold on to all future booking revenues to protect itself if the carrier collapses.

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic's chief executive, has been trying to moderate these demands, sources told Sky News on July 11, and Virgin now hopes to announce the rescue deal in its entirety this week.

Another insider said that Cardnet - a joint venture between First Data and Lloyds Banking Group - had broadly agreed to Virgin Atlantic's terms. The endorsement of Cardnet and First Data are "the final piece of the jigsaw" in securing the rescue package, the sources said.

As previously reported, the potential refinancing package includes borrowing about GBP250 million (USD315 million) from hedge funds, a GBP200 million (USD252 million) capital injection from Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson's Virgin Group, and GBP400 million (USD504 million) in fee deferrals and waivers from both Virgin Group and 49% shareholder Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson).