Virgin Australia boss John Borghetti’s pay has increased to $2.84 million despite the airline’s $94 million annual loss.
The chief executive’s salary in 2014/15 of $1.5 million was lower than the previous year’s, but a bigger cash bonus of $1 million lifted his cash pay to $2.53 million.
Borghetti was awarded a further $309,000 in deferred incentives and non-cash benefits, taking his total remuneration slightly higher than the previous year’s $2.78 million.
Virgin Australia’s loss for 2014/15 was an improvement on the previous year’s $354 million deficit, and the company said executive bonuses were awarded due to successful efforts to reduce costs, strengthen the balance sheet and turn around the airline’s financial and operating performance.
Writing in the company’s annual report, released on Wednesday, Borghetti reiterated Virgin Australia’s forecast of a return to profit in 2015/16.
Borghetti’s annual pay previously has been on par with that of his rival at Qantas, Alan Joyce, but that has now changed with Qantas achieving a massive profit turnaround in 2014/15.
Joyce’s remuneration soared to $11.9 million, including almost $7 million in shares awarded as long-term incentives, as Qantas bounced back from a $2.8 million annual loss, and its share price almost tripled in value.