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Virgin Atlantic accelerates out of recession

30th July 2010 Print

Despite a challenging economic environment, leading long haul airline, Virgin Atlantic has announced strong first quarter revenue growth and increases in passenger numbers.

This improvement was attributed to steady growth in both business and leisure customers including market share gains from its competitors.

Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic, said:

"The start of the year has been encouraging despite difficult trading conditions. Demand is picking up across the majority of our routes and forward bookings for the summer have been very positive. From all of the major operational challenges that we have faced this year – including snow and volcanic ash – the response from everyone at Virgin Atlantic has been outstanding."

The airline stated that a strong increase in demand in its Upper Class cabin had led the revenue improvements on last year and it was also encouraged by the strong start on its new business route to Accra, Ghana. The overall revenue growth has been achieved despite the impact of the ash cloud effect in April – the airline estimates that the customer compensation and operational cost will total £30 million.

Steve Ridgway continued:

"Along with the rest of the industry, we have just faced one of the toughest years in our history. However, the early action that we took to deal with the losses from the worst recession on record, not only enabled us to protect the business; it provided us with a strong platform for growth this year. We have just delivered a new brand identity, are hiring hundreds of new staff and are looking forward to the new aircraft deliveries early next spring."

Virgin Atlantic has this week unveiled a new brand and corporate identity, will be adding five new A330 aircraft next spring complete with a new in-flight entertainment system, as well as a new route from Manchester to Las Vegas. The airline is currently recruiting 300 staff of which 150 roles will be cabin crew, with the remainder of jobs created for its new customer call centre due open in Swansea this autumn. The new cabin crew positions include support for its new route from Manchester to Las Vegas.

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