Virgin Atlantic's losses mount

Virgin Atlantic's new boss vowed to get the airline back in profit within two years after it reported more big losses today.

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Virgin Atlantic's new Chief Executive vows to return the airline to profit

Virgin Atlantic planes at Heathrow Airport as Virgin Atlantic's new boss vowed to get the airline back in profit within two years Credit: PA Wire

Chief executive Craig Kreeger said weak economic conditions and the Olympic Games in London, which dented demand for business travel, were factors in the airline's latest loss of £93 million for the year to February 28.

New chief executive of Virgin Atlantic Craig Kreeger who has vowed to get the airline back in profit Credit: Andrew Milligan /PA Wire

It has also suffered from high fuel costs, strong competition on transatlantic routes and taxes on UK air travel, although the figures showed it still increased revenues by 5% to £2.9 billion. It carried 5.5 million passengers in the period, an increase of 188,000 on a year earlier.

Mr Kreeger, who took over from Steve Ridgway as chief executive in February after a 27-year career at American Airlines, recently announced a staff pay freeze as part of a wider cost-cutting programme at the airline's Gatwick HQ and across the company.

Virgin hopes that its ties with US operator Delta, which acquired a 49% stake in the airline last year, will help it compete more forcefully with the British Airways-American Airlines alliance in the lucrative transatlantic market.

Today's airline loss contributed to a pre-tax deficit of £69.9 million for the wider group, which includes** **Virgin Holidays. The previous year's group loss was £80.2 million, with the airline deficit being £98.6 million in 2012.

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