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Virgin Australia back in the black after 11 years of losses

written by Jake Nelson | October 10, 2023

Jake Nelson shot these Virgin Australia 737-800s at Sydney Airport.

Virgin Australia has posted its first full-year profit in 11 years off the back of strong post-COVID demand.

The airline posted a statutory NPAT of $129 million for FY23, with a group revenue of $5 billion – a 124 per cent revenue increase over FY22.

Its airline operations, including domestic, international, and regional and charter flights, recorded combined revenue of $4,873 million, while the Velocity loyalty program saw $330 million in revenue.

CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said the results show the success of Virgin’s business transformation program, including its cabin refurbishments, introduction of the 737 MAX family, and restart of short-haul international travel.

“Our results signal that the transformation of Virgin Australia is progressing well. We have a long-term commitment to transformation and are only part-way through this multi-year journey,” Ms Hrdlicka said.


“By creating a systemically lower cost base and a conservative balance sheet as well as investing heavily in technology and our frontline, we are well positioned for the future.

“Our investment in frontline transformation continues, and is designed to boost capability, customer experience and operational efficiency. Our recent announcement of a $110m cabin upgrade, arrival of the first of our new 737-8 aircraft, market-leading baggage tracking app and Rapid Rebook technology launch all help us to create experiences our guests love.

“Value and choice are core to our business and as the continuing rise in cost-of-living impacts household budgets, we believe we are well positioned to continue to provide customers with the best value in the market.”

CFO Race Strauss said the carrier’s balance sheet is now “considerably stronger”, with an improved cost base, and it is now in a better position to boost business.

“Virgin Australia is now in a very strong capital position, with total debt including leases now $2.3 billion and over $1bn of cash on balance sheet, providing the platform for future investment in transformation and growth,” he said.

“Our transformation plan is well underway and has set up the business for the future.”

Virgin in July confirmed an overhaul of the seat configuration for its existing fleet of 737-800 aircraft, which will see one of its five rows of premium economy ‘X’ seats removed to make way for between six and 12 traditional economy seats.

It was part of a raft of changes aiming to make the flying experience for passengers consistent between the older 737-800 aircraft and the upcoming fleet of 33 MAXs, split between 8 MAX 8s and 25 MAX 10s.

The changes to the 800s will include the following:

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Comment (1)

  • Yes I am very pleased that VOZ is out of the C.B and back into the Clear Blue Skies, may it be a long and pleasant flight. I am not sure that by removing 1 row of Prem. X seats and replacing them with 2 rows of normal Ecy. seats- ( same seat different pitch) will lead to higher levels of excitement, the reverse more likely due less legroom. You need to attract the punter back not frighten them away.

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