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The Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd share price has taken off today

The Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX: VAH) share price has taken off in morning trade.

At the time of writing the airline’s shares have risen almost 4% to 19.2 cents.

Today’s gain will be a welcome relief to shareholders who have had to watch the shares of rival Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) soar to a nine-year high recently.

Last month Virgin Australia provided the market with a trading update which revealed a statutory loss before tax of $62.3 million for the third quarter of FY 2017.

This brought its statutory loss after tax for the nine months ending March 31 to $90.6 million.

Management blamed the loss on foreign exchange fluctuations on US dollar-denominated debt, subdued domestic industry trading conditions, and the one-off revenue impact of the withdrawal of Tigerair Australia’s Bali operations.

But based on current market conditions, Virgin Australia expects a big improvement in its underlying performance in the fourth quarter.

A Big, Fat, Fully Franked Dividend

This company's dividend is almost the stuff of legends. Since it started paying dividends in 2007, it has increased its payout to shareholders every single year, a run that includes 21 consecutive dividend increases.

Based on the last 12-months of dividends, its shares are currently offering a fully-franked 4.8% yield, which grosses up to almost 7% when those franking credits are included. And in stark contrast to the likes of Commonwealth Bank and Telstra, this company just increased its dividend by over 13%, and guided for 2017 profits to grow by 20%!

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Motley Fool contributor Motley Fool Staff has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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