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Virgin Australia posts its best half year profit in five years

Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Virgin Australia, which has returned to trading in the black after a long seat battle with Qantas, has just posted a $62.5 million half year profit compared to a loss of $47.8 million the year before.

The result, an improvement of $110.3 million, was the strongest since the first half of 2010.

Revenue was up 11.8% to $2.7 billion, reflecting a strong performance by Virgin Australia domestic.

Virgin Australia international, which lost $19.2 million from flight delays during volcanic activity in Bali, is on track to return to profitability by the end of 2017.

Tigerair Australia recorded its highest half year underlying earnings of $13.9 million.

The return to the profitability for Australia’s second biggest airline comes on the back of an end to the price war with Qantas, bringing better returns for each seat sold, plus cost cutting and lower fuel prices as crude oil has plummeted on global markets.

Qantas also is back in profit.

Virgin is now competing more on service, positioning itself as a Qantas alternative with all its flights now coming with free luggage and food. This puts it in position for a better return per seat.

CEO John Borghetti says the group is improving its revenue and customer offering in all segments of the market.

“At the same time, the group is maintaining strict cost discipline while optimising the balance sheet,” he says.

He says the airline is in place to report a profit for the 2016 financial year.

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