Virgin Australia returns profit for first time in 11 years with $5bn in revenue

Virgin Australia has returned a profit for the first time in more than a decade, doubling its 2022 revenue with a reported $5bn.

On Tuesday the airline’s chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said the results marked “an important milestone”.

Revenue for domestic, international. regional and charter flying increased 126 per cent from the last financial year, with Virgin citing record travel demand as the driving factor behind its return to pre-Covid levels.

“Efficiency initiatives delivered a significant increase in profitability in spite of higher fuel prices”, the airline said in a statement.

“Virgin Australia continues to see healthy demand as customers prioritise travel in the face of cost-of-living pressure.”

In FY23, Virgin introduced its first Boeing 737-8 to its fleet, the first of eight set to be delivered before the first half of 2024.

New international routes to Tokyo, Queenstown, Samoa and Vanuatu were introduced, while the entire Boeing 737 fleet will also undergo cabin refurbishments to the tune of about $110m.

“By creating a systemically lower cost base and a conservative balance sheet as well as investing heavily in technology and our frontline, we are well positioned for the future,” Ms Hrdlicka said.

“It has been 11 years since Virgin Australia returned a profit, and our results signal that the transformation of Virgin Australia is progressing well.

“Value and choice are core to our business and as the continuing rise in cost of living impacts household budgets, we believe we are well positioned to continue to provide customers with the best value in the market.”

This comes after Qantas revealed a record $2.47bn profit for 2022-23, up 90 per cent on its pre-pandemic levels.

Since the pandemic, Australian consumers have been slammed with surging airfare prices, with airlines blaming soaring prices on disruptions to global oil supply.

High ticket prices have not decreased, however, even after major costs, such as jet fuel, have fallen.

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