Virgin Australia just recorded its weakest quarter on record, dragged down by soft demand for domestic airline seats combined with the transport chaos caused by Cyclone Debbie.
The airline today reported more losses, bringing the red ink total to $90.6 million for the nine months of the financial year.
The second biggest domestic airline posted a statutory loss after tax of $69 million for the third quarter of the financial year. The underlying loss before tax was $62.3 million.
This compares to a $21.5 million loss for the half year to December, as its domestic business continues to be hit by subdued demand and the costs of restructuring the airline.
For the nine months to March, the underlying loss before tax is $20.2 million and the statutory loss after tax adds up to $90.6 million.
Today Virgin says the third quarter was hit by costs associated with the fleet simplification program, foreign exchange fluctuations on US dollar debt and operating costs, subdued domestic trading, a one-off revenue impact of the withdrawal of Tigerair’s Bali operations and severe Queensland weather in March.
However, the company continued to pay down its debt.
Debt was reduced by more than $200 million during the quarter. As of March, net debt has been cut by $627 million or 33% compared to June 2016.
The airline says it is on track to deliver net cash savings increasing to $300 million a year by the end of the 2019 financial year.
Virgin expects its underlying performance for the fourth quarter of the 2017 financial year to improve on the same quarter of 2016.