Around the world: Virgin sees profits increase

Virgin
Atlantic has reported a sharp rise in profits in the year to the end of
February, despite other airlines losses, such as British Airways which
recently reported a record annual operating loss of £401 million loss.

Virgin
said pre-tax profits soared from £34.8 million to £68.4 million in the
year to February, despite a backdrop of volatile oil prices and a deep
recession.

The results reflect a rise in the number of premium
or first and business class passengers using the airline, the group
said in a statement.

Virgin is waging a campaign against BA’s
attempt to secure approval for a transatlantic profit sharing tie-up
with American Airlines.Virgin Atlantic owner Richard Branson has said:
“The last financial year has proven to be the most volatile yet in our
25-year history. To increase profits against a backdrop of such a
severe recession is an excellent achievement by all of our staff at
Virgin Atlantic.”

Chief Executive Steve Ridgway said: “We are
winning market share from our competitors during the toughest trading
environment ever. With some of the lowest fares ever, consumers have
never had it so good for so long.”

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