Revenues increase by 5% but loss reaches €110 million
Virgin Atlantic is reporting a record pre-tax loss for the year to the end of February, totalling £69.9 million (€83 million). Revenues rose 5% to £2.87 billion as 5.5 million passengers flew with the airline during the period, or 188,000 more year-on-year – including 90,000 more pax (9.2% more) in premium economy and upper class.
Chief executive Craig Kreeger blamed the Olympics and the weak economic environment for the loss. “Last year saw a double-dip recession [in the UK], a continued weak macro economy and an Olympic Games which, although a fantastic event, severely dented demand for business travel,” he said.
“Virgin Atlantic has a programme of measures going forward which I am confident will improve our financial performance considerably in 2013-14 and put us firmly on the road to a return to profit in spring 2015.”
The airline has “a clearly defined strategy which encompasses four key areas of the business”, he stressed. These four areas are the airline’s new domestic carrier Little Red, its Delta jont venture, changes to the fleet, such as operating all ten of its A330-300s, which are 15% more fuel efficient per passenger than they planes they replace, and a series of cost cuts.
Sky News / TTG Digital
[pictured: Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400, “Lady Penelope”, taking off from London Heathrow]