While Virgin Australia confirmed the good news of soaring profits in its half yearly results posted this morning, five of its unusually comfortable Embraer E-190s have been chopped.
Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti said he was pleased to announce the sale of the jets this morning, to continue the ‘optimisation’ of its fleet.
He also announced that the six E-170s he sub leased to Delta more than five years ago have been sold to the US carrier, which has an extensive commercial relationship with Virgin Australia on the trans Pacific and domestic American routes.
The E-jets may not be missed by financial analysts, but they are a key product differentiation for Virgin flyers on a range of routes, including from Canberra, with the most comfortable economy seats in service on Australian domestic services in cabins with no middle seats.
At this stage around 13 E-190s will remain in the Virgin Australia fleet, fate uncertain.
In its filing to the ASX Virgin Australia Holdings says it incurred $59.4 million of restructuring and transaction costs and impairment losses on assets held for sale in the half year to 31 December as part of the ‘broader fleet simplification initiative.’
The filing confirmed the figures derived from the earlier announcement of the group’s second quarter earnings, making an underlying profit before tax of $81.5 million in the first half of this financial year and increase of $71.3 million compared to the same period a year earlier.
The results are notably strong in all metrics and the ASX filing can be read in full here.