Virgin Australia airline posts $333 million loss

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's second largest airline, Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd., says it lost 356 million Australian dollars ($333 million) in its last fiscal year, a three-fold increase over the previous year.

The results for the year through June 2014 posted Friday followed a AU$98 loss the previous year. The company blames excess market capacity due to competition from its larger rival Qantas Airways Ltd., weak consumer sentiment and the AU$52 million cost of Australia's carbon tax.

Virgin chief executive John Borghetti said in a statement: "The 2014 Financial Year has seen one of the most difficult operating environments in the history of Australian aviation."

Qantas on Thursday posted a AU$2.8 billion loss for the year, due largely to AU$2.6 billion in aircraft write downs. The government repealed the carbon tax in July.