9News: Virgin Cuts

Andrew Lofthouse, Nine News Queensland: Virgin Australia’s profits have nose-dived, with the airline today revealing a full-year loss of $349 million.

Hundreds of jobs will be slashes, flights and fares could be next

Ross Greenwood: 750 jobs going and maybe more to come!

Airline routes will be changed and some aircraft as well but the big question remains…is this enough to make Virgin profitable?

Virgin’s lost money after tax for 7 years straight – largely as its written down the value of its businesses.

In that time, the losses add up to a staggering $1.9 billion.

The story this year is common – weaker demand for travel and higher fuel prices has smashed the airline. Even its discount airline – Tiger – is losing money as well.

The only profitable part of Virgin is its frequent flyer scheme – which some say should be sold off.

Virgin survives only because of the patience and deep pockets of its airline shareholders – Etihad, Singapore Airlines, Hainan Airlines – so Richard Branson’s Virgin group retains just 8 percent.

None have flagged to sell yet but nobody likes losing money – year, after year, after year.

But you do wonder if those shareholders ever lose patience, will Aussie airline passengers be the real losers if our skies are left to Qantas alone.

You know the answer to that one.

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