Virgin Atlantic announced a £26m loss for 2018 yesterday, following a £49m loss in 2017.
Underlying numbers were more promising, with revenue rising by 5.8% to £2.78bn, passenger numbers growing by just under 5% to 5.4 million and revenue per customer rising by 1.7%.
The two core issues were the weakness of Sterling, given that jet fuel is priced in US$, and the continuing problems with the Boeing 787-9 fleet, much of which remains grounded due to problems with the Rolls-Royce engines.
(Whilst we didn’t cover it on HFP, Rolls-Royce faced a new round of engine issues last week when Singapore Airlines grounded two Boeing 787-10 aircraft due to signs of engine turbine blade cracking. This implies that the issue is not unique to the Boeing 787-9 fleet.)
Virgin Atlantic has warned that it does not expect to make financial progress in 2019 but that it should break even in 2020 and then return to profitability. The new A350-1000 aircraft are substantially cheaper to fly than the older aircraft they replace.
Here is a link to the 2018 Annual Report if you want to find out more.
One interesting fact – over 100,000 people have signed up to the new Virgin Atlantic credit cards in the first 12 months and over £1bn has been spent.
PS. Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles. That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.
(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles? Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)