Virgin Australia confident despite unclear outlook

Virgin Australia confident despite unclear outlook
By admin

Virgin Australia has described the outlook as unclear for the current financial year, but remained confident it has the upper hand over competitors.

Chief executive John Borghetti declined to give guidance at this stage, referring to challenges such as high fuel and an uncertain economic environment.

But he appeared unshaken in his confidence that Virgin was on the right strategic path.

“I am confident we have a sound platform from which we can respond to changing market conditions,” he said.

Chief financial officer Sankar Narayan reported underlying cost per available seat kilometre (CASK) growth of 4.5%, excluding fuel, which had helped the airline achieve a cost advantage over its nearest competitors.

“More importantly, with the product enhancements and the young age of the fleet, we will continue to maintain that cost advantage into the future,” he said.

While Narayan admitted the magnitude of the advantage was hard to quantify, Borghetti claimed it went into double digits.

A possible downturn in the business sector was unlikely to affect the carrier, Borghetti added.

“We don’t have a big chunk of that pie,” he said. “It’s all upside for us, even if it were to stay flat.”

Meanwhile, he insisted the airline was “not wedded” to any market share target, working instead towards a share that delivers the best return.

The carrier is also set to expand, with Borghetti revealing the airline intends to employ “many hundreds” of people this year.

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