Virgin Atlantic has recorded a pre-tax profit of £18.5 million for the financial year, but warned rising fuel costs and weakening consumer confidence in the UK could take a toll in coming months.
The airline – majority owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group – made a loss of £132 million last year.
Revenues at the carrier – which was last year recognised as the World’s Leading Airline Business Class and World’s Leading Transatlantic Airline by the World Travel Awards - grew 13 per cent to £2.7 billion.
“Since the turn of the year, market conditions have become tougher with increased capacity, faltering consumer confidence and high fuel prices,” Steve Ridgway, Virgin Atlantic’s chief executive said releasing the results.
“We are also seeing softer trading in the areas that are hit hardest by the continued rises in Air Passenger Duty (APD), particularly the Caribbean routes and premium economy cabins.
“While business traffic remains strong, demand in the economy cabin is more challenged.”
Political unrest in the Middle East and north Africa and a drop in passenger traffic in Asia following the Japanese earthquake in March are causing problems for the airline.
Virgin Atlantic pilots this week voted to accept a pay offer, ending the prospect of strike action.