Virgin Australia Is Finally Profitable

The first Virgin Australia Boeing 737-8 ready for delivery

Virgin Australia has officially returned to profitability as its major transformation plan continues.

A return to profits is hugely pivotal in proving the turnaround has been successful following the carrier filing for administration less than half a decade ago.

Breakdown Of Virgin Australia’s FY23

Virgin Australia says it is profitable for the first time in 11 years following a statutory NPAT reported at AUD 129 million.

The carrier says it doubled revenue compared to one year prior, hitting 5 billion as a group. Revenues, therefore, increased 124% over FY22.

Virgin Australia says it can attribute the substantial revenue rise directly to its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

1,800 frontline staff were hired for Virgin Australia’s rebuild and growth efforts. It results in a total team headcount reaching 7,340. These growth plans continue with a view to hiring a further 1,500 frontline staff in FY24.

Virgin Australia was able to commence routes towards Tokyo, Queenstown, Samoa and Vanuatu as part of its commitment to returning to markets.

Comments From Virgin Australia Executives

These results are an important milestone for Virgin Australia. It has been 11 years since Virgin Australia returned a profit, and our results signal that the transformation of Virgin Australia is progressing well. We have a long-term commitment to transformation and are only part-way through this multi-year journey.

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka

Virgin Australia is now in a very strong capital position, with total debt including leases now $2.3 billion and over $1bn of cash on balance sheet, providing the platform for future investment in transformation and growth. Our transformation plan is well underway and has set up the business for the future.

Virgin Australia CFO Race Strauss

The Current Virgin Australia Fleet

Virgin Australia’s fleet looks drastically different from the 2010s with the removal of its widebody operations that included A330s and 777s and saw the airline fly as far as Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles.

Now, the new look and profitable Virgin Australia flies 72 aircraft. Notably, this includes mostly 737 aircraft, with the first 737 MAX touching down only recently.

Virgin Australia says seven further 737-8s will be delivered during FY24. The plan is also for from FY25 onwards 25 737-10s to be delivered. The 737-10, however, remains uncertified, with the timeframe for approval currently unclear.

As for its existing Boeing 737s, Virgin notes that they’ll undergo a cabin refurbishment that’ll cost an estimated AUD 110 million.

Daniel Fowkes
11 Oct 2023
· Airlines 

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