Virgin Australia to axe 750 jobs as it posts another loss

Virgin Australia to axe 750 jobs as it posts another loss

Virgin Australia, which operates flights to and from New Zealand and throughout Australia has said it will be cutting 750 jobs from its near 10,000 workforce after posting a loss of AU$315.4 million (NZ$330 million). A result which is significantly improved from its previous year's loss of AU$653.3 million (NZ$694 million).

The job losses are expected to come from the merging of business divisions and a wide-ranging review of its operations.

The airline's CEO Paul Scurrach told Reuters a new management team has been formed to focus on cutting costs and returning to profitability.

"Should conditions swing in our favour, then I could see that [a profit] is possible, but we can't guarantee it," Scurrach said. 

The job cuts are expected to save the company AU$75 million and would mainly affect its head-office and corporate operations. 

Despite being the number two airline in Australia, Virgin has struggled to grow under the shadow of Qantas' giant red tail.

The airline reported an underlying pre-tax loss of AU$71.2 million, compared with a AU$64.4 million profit last year.

The result was significantly worse than its guidance provided in May for an underlying loss of at least AU$35.6 million, although it was in line with analyst expectations, according to Refinitiv data.

Virgin shares sank as much as 9 percent in morning trade after the result, touching 10-year lows, and closed down 6 percent, while the broader market and Qantas were both up 0.5 percent.