Virgin Atlantic Reveals Bleak Outlook

Daniel Fowkes
13 May 2023
· Airlines 

Rising operating costs have considerably impacted airlines globally, and now, the U.K based Virgin Atlantic has revealed their outlook for 2023, indicating they won’t turn profits.

The developments came directly from the airline publishing its 2022 financial results, where they said it was another critical year for recovery—additionally focusing on the ramping up of services globally.

Virgin Atlantic reported revenues of £2.9 billion, 98% of 2019’s revenues. Meanwhile, there was a loss of £206 million before tax. Off the back of 2020s and 2021s poor performance dictated by the effects of the pandemic, Virgin Atlantic also said they completed the first year of their ambition to become the most loved travel company and sustainability profitable. This is a four-year plan.

2022 was Virgin Atlantic’s year of recovery and ramp up, when we reached new heights. While we ended the year well, it began with the new Omicron strain of the Covid-19 virus and aviation was faced with the return of restrictions on international travel. Thankfully, through the collective efforts of the industry, it was possible to prove that travel was safe, resulting in the removal of remaining restrictions. The devastating war in Ukraine dramatically affected fuel and energy prices and global supply chains. In parallel, inflation stoked a cost-of-living crisis, particularly felt by UK consumers as energy prices rocketed. These factors contributed towards losses, albeit significantly improved on 2021.

Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic says while they won’t be able to turn a profit in 2023, they will utilise the remainder of this calendar year to demonstrate that the plan is working and that they can set themselves up for a return to profitability in 2024.

The carrier added that it was pleased with a completion factor of 99.5% even despite circumstances that could’ve primarily impacted their operations, such as those capacity restrictions seen at London Heathrow.

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