Virgin America widens losses in Q2

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Washington DC
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Virgin America has posted a $6 million operating loss in its second quarter, up from the $430,000 operating loss it reported a year ago.

Operating revenues rose 45.6% to $269 million year-on-year, while operating expenses surged 48.5% to $275 million on the back of rising fuel prices, said the carrier.

The airline posted a net loss of $21.7 million, compared with the $15.5 million net loss it reported during the same period last year.

"Fuel costs continue to weigh on our financial performance even as we achieve and exceed our revenue targets," said Virgin America president and CEO David Cush. "While it is disappointing to report even a narrow operating loss for the quarter, our mature markets performed exceptionally well. Against the headwinds of high fuel and the costs of growth as a new airline, we're pleased with our consistent progress and sales performance."

During the quarter, passenger traffic rose 31.6% while capacity on scheduled flights was up 30.1%. The load factor grew one percentage point to 82.9%.

The airline's revenue per available seat mile (RASM) grew 11.9% to 10.97 cents, while the cost per available seat mile (CASM) rose 14.1% to 11.21 cents

"The next 12 months are an important growth phase for Virgin America as we increase our fleet to 52 aircraft and expand our network," said Cush.