- Sopranos star James Gandolfini dies in Italy
- Special Report: Syria's Islamists seize control as moderates dither
- End to Fed stimulus, China slowdown rattles swathe of world investments
- Arizona killer who asked for speedy execution found dead in cell
- UPDATE 2-Storm Barry heads for Mexico Gulf coast oil installations
Virgin Atlantic swings to full-year loss
LONDON Aug 3 (Reuters) - British airline Virgin Atlantic swung to a full-year loss as higher fuel costs and tough economic conditions took their toll, it said on Friday.
The carrier, founded by serial entrepreneur Richard Branson, posted a pretax operating loss of 80.2 million pounds ($124.5 million) in the year to the end of February compared to a profit of 18.5 million pounds in 2010/11.
The airline, part owned by Singapore Airlines, said revenues grew 3 percent to 2.74 billion pounds though fuel costs rose a third.
Virgin's passenger numbers rose 2 percent to 5.4 million during the year and its load factor - a measure of how full its planes were - came in at 78 percent.
"In an incredibly challenging market, we have managed to grow top line revenues and fly more customers than last year," the airline's chief executive Steve Ridgway said.
"However, with the prevailing uncertainty in the economy, sky high fuel prices and a 25 percent hike in our air passenger duty fees, converting this sales growth into profit has not been possible."
The airline, which is due to take delivery of six new Airbus A330 planes in the coming months, said it had made an encouraging start to its new financial year.
Rival British Airways, part of the IAG group, posted an operating profit of 13 million euros in the six months to the end of June.
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this