Virgin Atlantic ‘on course to return to profitability in 2024’

Virgin Atlantic said it is “on course to return to profitability” in 2024, after seeing record revenues in 2023.

The carrier’s full-year revenue reached £3.1 billion, up by £265 million on 2022, while losses before tax and exceptional items narrowed to £139 million, from £206 million in 2022.

The airline, co-owned by Sir Richard Branson and Delta Air Lines, carried 5.3 million passengers in 2023, with a load factor of 77%.

It said in a statement: “Due to robust customer demand for premium leisure air travel and holidays, 2023 passenger revenue was reported at £2.4 billion – the highest on record and up £323 million versus 2022, despite corporate travel being slower to return to pre-pandemic levels.”

Shai Weiss, chief executive at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “In 2023, we capitalised on continued strong demand for leisure air travel and holidays, which shows that desire for experiences and travel remains, resulting in record revenues.

“A loss is never satisfactory; however, our performance and results illustrate that we have made really good progress in 2023, the plan is working, and Virgin Atlantic is on course to return to profitability in 2024.

“2024 is the turning point for Virgin Atlantic, the culmination of our transformation and the year we make it count.”

Oli Byers, chief financial officer at Virgin Atlantic, added: “2023 financial results reflect a year when our team delivered record revenue and a return to pre-pandemic EBIT [earnings before interest and taxes] performance. Importantly we narrowed losses and set up a return to profitability in 2024.

“Our financial, commercial and operational performance demonstrates that our plan is working, despite the challenges of inflation, rising interest rates, and higher fuel and energy prices.

“In 2023, we flew more sectors than 2019 with four fewer aircraft, illustrating the efficiency of our fleet today. Combined with continued cost discipline and protecting cash, these actions ensure we are positioned to return to profitability in 2024.

“As customer demand for travel endures, we will go further this year by welcoming six new aircraft and capacity growth of 12%, while maintaining cost discipline as always, targeting record revenues and operating profit.”

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