24 Mar 2011

Substantial loss forecast by airline

8:25 am on 24 March 2011

Virgin Blue has warned investors to expect a substantial full-year loss, as rising oil prices lift costs while natural disasters have affected flights and demand.

Virgin Blue, in which Air New Zealand has a 15% stake, is now expecting a full-year pre-tax loss of between $A30 - $A80 million.

The airline says about half its flights are within, or to or from, Queensland, and the floods and Cyclone Yasi have cost it about $A50 million.

Virgin also says the Christchurch earthquake probably wiped $A15 million off its bottom-line and it has been hit by rising oil prices.