Virgin Blue chairman Neil Chatfield has told investors at the airline’s annual general meeting that the airline group is on track to post a profit for the 2009/2010 financial year.
While he noted that there were encouraging signs of a rebound in the domestic market, the economic outlook both in Australia and globally was still uncertain. “However, with the strategic development opportunities for V Australia, continuing cost control throughout the short haul business and our improved balance sheet, the company is currently profitable,” said Chatfield.
He added that “based on current trading we believe that the company will return to profitability in 2010 and that we are well positioned to take advantage of any improvement in market conditions.”
Chatfield also confirmed that the search for a new chief executive to replace Brett Godfrey, who is retiring, is underway with a number of “high potential” candidates already identified.
Virgin Blue is expected to benefit particularly from the operation of a joint venture with Delta Air Lines on South Pacific services, which will see the two carriers jointly operate their services and provide feed in Australia and the United States. It is expected that the cooperation will help to reduce V Australia losses.