After A $386 Million Loss, Virgin Australia Is Bullish On Next 12 months

Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

LONDON – Financial results lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission last Wednesday show that Virgin Australia’s losses had grown to $386.7 million to the year ending June 30th, 2022.

A huge difference considering the previous twelve months saw losses of $76.8 million.

CEO Jayne Hrdlicka has said that the airline will consider a return to long-haul flying ‘at some point’, although to get there would “involve a very high hurdle, and would not be made in the immediate future.”

Virgin’s revenues increased by over forty percent to $2.2 billion, owing mostly thanks to the boost air travel saw as the world approached in parts, some pre-pandemic levels of capacity onboard its aircraft.

However, they were unable to offset the ever-increasing costs of both fuel and staff, resulting in a statutory loss of $565.5 million. 

All is not lost, however, with Hrlidcka forecasting that Virgin Australia should be back in profit during this financial year.

Describing this as a “transition out of a really tough period into a pretty bright period” and suggesting that the company is preparing to be listed publicly on the Australian share market at some point during 2023.

When taking into account that the Australian carrier hired over five hundred new staff in key operational roles since July, it is evident that they are ramping up towards coping with growing levels of travel.

More pilots, cabin crew, and baggage handlers have all been taken on and trained in the last 8 weeks to meet this demand. 

“There is a lot of demand right now for long-haul flying and not enough capacity, but you have to plan for the long term. You don’t invest significant amounts of capital in aircraft to solve for a moment in time. We’re very focused on running the business and making sure we’re in great form for an eventual listing,” Hrdlicka said.

Following in the footsteps of many other airlines, Virgin Australia has made a commitment to operating at net-zero emissions by 2050. Investors are increasingly putting this atop their priorities list when deciding where to invest their money.

“Over Easter, Virgin Australia recorded its busiest travel period since before the pandemic, with Easter Monday a milestone day for Virgin Australia, with the highest number of daily passengers flying since before the pandemic.”

This demand for travel is being touted as a result of high vaccination numbers, domestic and international borders re-opening, and the world becoming more used to living life alongside Covid-19.

As we surpass the two-year anniversary of Virgin Australia being acquired in a multi-billion dollar deal by US investment firm, Bain Capital, they have seen their fleet of Boeing 737s expand from 55 to 88.

This is in line with the growth strategy outlined in a director’s report that aims to capture a 33 percent share of the Australian domestic travel market and short-haul routes to destinations such as New Zealand. 

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Jamie Stokes

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