Virgin America widens net loss in Q2

Washington DC
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Virgin America has widened its net losses for the second quarter, posting a net loss of $31.8 million for the three months ended 30 June.

The low-cost carrier recorded a net loss of $21.7 million in the corresponding period a year ago.

Virgin America's operating loss narrowed to $4.08 million, from $6 million in 2011, says the privately-owned carrier.

Operating revenues rose 29% to $347 million, while operating expenses rose 28% to $351 million.

"With just one aircraft delivery in the next twelve months, we will focus on maximising the value of our network instead of managing additional growth," says Virgin America chief executive David Cush.

He adds that improved financial performance is expected as the airline slows down its growth.

Passenger traffic during the quarter was up 27.1%, while capacity grew 32.2%. The passenger load factor fell 2.2 percentage points to 79.7%. Passenger revenue per available seat mile declined 2.2% to 9.87 cents.

Cost per available seat mile excluding fuel fell 1.5% to 6.49 cents. The airline ended the quarter with 51 in-service aircraft, down from 38 aircraft a year ago.

Cush has said he expects the airline to post its first full-year operating profit in 2012. The airline had previously hoped to post a small operating profit for 2011, but instead more than doubled its full-year operating losses to $27.4 million.

In the first quarter of 2012, the airline posted an operating loss of $49 million.