Virgin Moves Back into Profit

7th May 2003

Virgin Atlantic today announced its headline financial and operational performance figures for the year ended April 2003. These show that Virgin Atlantic expects to make a pre-tax profit of around £10m for this financial year - a turnaround of over £100m compared with the previous year. 
The results cover the activities of the airline and its holidays and cargo operations. These are subject to final audit and full details will be filed later this year. 

Due to the continuing challenges in the aviation market turnover was down in from £1.5bn in the year end April 2002 to approximately £1.4bn. Passenger numbers were around 4 million in both years. However, due to ongoing tight control of costs and the continued delivery of high quality services Virgin Atlantic expects to make a profit before tax of around £10m compared to a loss of £92m in the previous financial year.
Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, said;

“Despite the fact our trading environment remains challenging, I’m pleased to announce today that for the financial year which ended last week we expect to have made a profit before tax of around £10m. The economic downturn is eroding yields throughout the industry and its effect has been exacerbated by the Iraqi war and now, of course, by SARS.
“In this context I’m delighted at the progress which Virgin Atlantic has made in the last year in particular the ability of the company to control its costs and restructure its route network. North Atlantic routes now account for less than 50% of Virgin Atlantic’s route network.
“This is a real achievement in light of current trading conditions and world events but is also testament to Virgin’s staff, products and services. The turnaround in financial performance show the true character of Virgin Atlantic and its staff and shows why we have such a great future on the world’s leading long-haul routes.
“In the current climate it’s very difficult to predict what the next twelve months will bring, but we are hopeful that we will remain in profit. We need to keep a firm grip on our costs. However, we will maintain our commitment to invest to give our people the products with which they can attract and keep passengers who enjoy more choice and lower fares than ever before.
“We’re also continuing to invest in our airline through new aircraft and new onboard products. Three more A340-600s will arrive this financial year, plus an additional Boeing 747-400. We are still on track for the delivery of the A380 in summer 2006. It also still remains a strong personal ambition to keep Concorde flying in Virgin Atlantic colours. I have written to both British Airways and the British Government asking to get a better understanding of the aircraft and its operations.”
Virgin Atlantic flies to twenty-two destinations worldwide with 26 aircraft including four A340-600s, ten A340-300s and twelve 747-400s. The current average fleet age is five years and three months. 


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