Virgin Australia deserted shareholders after it fell into the hands of administrators in 2020. It was ultimately snapped up by Bain Capital. Now, CEO Jayne Hrdlicka has told The Australian the airline has scrambled out of its despair to perform "at least as well" as Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN)'s domestic business in 2022.
Let's take a closer look at the latest insight into the previously battered Australian airline.
Virgin Australia hints at upcoming ASX IPO
Wounded former Virgin shareholders could have another chance with the airline in the near future. Its CEO has hinted Virgin could undergo an IPO as soon as 2023.
Speaking on the potential of an upcoming IPO and ASX float, the airline's boss told The Australian:
It's not outside the realm of possibility.
It's a lot faster than we thought it would be and we are flattered that this soon after becoming a new company and starting from scratch we're in a position where we're having these conversations, because it's extraordinary.
Virgin Australia returned from administration in November 2020 with a 22% share in Australia's domestic passenger market. In the years since, the airline has worked to regain its strength.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's latest report on airline competition found Virgin held between 31% and 35% of the market between December 2021 and April 2022.
Meanwhile, Qantas and its budget brand Jetstar respectively had 37% and 28% of the market in April.
Virgin also held the largest market share – 36% – on routes between larger cities in that time.
Hrdlicka reportedly believes Virgin's domestic routes' profitability is "doing at least as well" as Qantas' now.
Though, she told the publication the airline still carries $1.8 billion of debt. "The debt portfolio needs reviewing and we need to be able to fund growth," Hrdlicka said, courtesy of The Australian.