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Annual profits almost double for Virgin Atlantic

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by Kay Mitchell

Virgin Atlantic has bucked the trend among airlines after reporting that it has almost doubled profits.

In the 12 months to the end of February, pre-tax profits rose to £68.4 million, compared with the £34.8 million reported a year earlier.

The announcement comes as many airlines continue to experience a slump in demand with many forced out of business last year. According to the International Air Transport Association, passenger numbers plummeted 11% in March compared to the same month last year.

Just last week, British Airways (BA) announced a pre-tax loss of £401 million for the 12 months to the end of March, compared with profits of £922 million the previous year.

BA’s loss represented its biggest loss since the company was privatised in 1987.

Furthermore, Europe’s largest airline, Air France-KLM, said it is to axe 2,700 positions as it reported a net loss of €505 million (£444 million) in the three month period to the end of March, compared with a €534 million loss compared with the same period a year earlier.

Returning to Virgin Atlantic, a rise in premium fare passengers boosted its results. Steve Ridgway, Virgin Atlantic chief executive, told the BBC: “We are winning market share from our competitors during the toughest trading environment ever.”

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News posted: May 26, 2009

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