Virgin Atlantic to spend £100m on service and products

Virgin Atlantic has pledged to spend £100m on improving customer services and developing new products and has unveiled a 13% increase in annual revenues to £2.7bn.

Virgin Atlantic: pledges to increase spend on customer service
Virgin Atlantic: pledges to increase spend on customer service

It said the money would be spent over the next year on developing elements of on-board service, airport lounges and product developments within aircraft cabins.

The airline declined to disclose its full results but claimed to have recorded what it described as a "pre-tax operating profit" of £18.5m in the year to March 2011.

It said this compared to a £132m pre-tax loss for the same period last year, despite the winter closure of Heathrow and added ash cloud disruptions costing the business £40m.

Steve Ridgway, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said: "We have demonstrated the resilience of our business by weathering the toughest economic period for aviation and have now returned the business to profit.

"A sharp recovery in the first half of the year has been tempered by more challenged trading in the latter period due to increased capacity in the market and high fuel prices.

"This year we are investing heavily in new product innovation so that we retain and enhance our leadership in customer service and experience."

Last month, the threat of strike action by Virgin Atlantic pilots lifted after an agreement was reached between the airline and the British Airline Pilot’s Association (Balpa).

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