Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Virgin Cargo Sees Big Growth in Freight Tonnage

Annual Figures Also Show Revenue Jumps in All Regions
Shipping News Feature

UK – SINGAPORE – WORLDWIDE - Virgin Atlantic Cargo, jointly owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group (51%) and Singapore Airlines (49%) have reported growth in both tonnage and freight revenues in today’s release of revenues for the 2010/2011 financial year. Strong performance across its network saw tonnage carried on the Virgin Atlantic and V Australia networks climb to nearly 227,000 tonnes, a 17% increase on the previous year. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific and the Americas reported tonnage increases in 2010/11 of 19%, 13% and 16% respectively.

Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s revenues in the three regions also recorded significant gains. In EMEA, sales were up 47% over 2009/10, Asia Pacific revenues rose 41% and the Americas was 29% ahead of last year. Virgin Airlines itself suffered when the Icelandic volcanic cloud caused disruption, principally to the European passenger services, last December setting it back around £40 million. The figures still compared favourably however as the previous year the carrier turned the £130 million loss then into a £18.5 million profit despite the setback. John Lloyd, Director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said:

“Even in a year when air cargo volumes across the industry were recovering, this is a fantastic result and a tribute to our team around the world for consistently providing the exceptional levels of customer service that help to set us apart from other airlines. Our partnership with V Australia once again had a strong impact on our results and this is a model we believe we can successfully implement with other airlines to deliver positive and mutual benefits.”

Steve Ridgeway, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, added:

“We are an airline that truly understands the value of air cargo and its importance to our overall success. Our award-winning cargo service has delivered a substantial increase in contribution to the airline in the last 12 months and that is a tribute to our outstanding team at Virgin Atlantic Cargo.”

It is an open secret that Singapore Airlines is looking to offload their share of the carrier leading to speculation that the whole of the company may be up for grabs to the right bidder. The news that Virgin pilots had agreed a deal with management after a long period of speculation, a two year pay freeze plus June’s overwhelming vote to call the first ever strike in the organisation, will certainly make any interested bidders relax a little.