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.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):
SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.
You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.
(Want to earn more Virgin Points? 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.)