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According to Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic is going places over the next few years. He has begun negotiations to buy 30 more aircraft by 2010, which would double the size of Virgin’s fleet, and is looking to recruit 1,400 new staff. The airline hopes to be flying to Sydney via Hong Kong by the year’s end and will launch new routes to Havana and Nassau in July 2005. Virgin Atlantic reported annualised sales of £1,503m in the year to April 2004 and increased operating profits on its 22 routes to £13m for the 10 months to February 2004. The company’s audacious bid to take over Concorde came to nothing but Branson remains keen on a merger with the private airline BMI.

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Company details
Year2004
Rank18
CompanyVirgin Atlantic
ActivityAirline and tour operator
LocationCrawley
Sales £m†1,503
Profit £mn/a
Year endFeb 04
Principal shareholdersVirgin Investments (51%) and Singapore Airlines (49%)
Staff7,519
Founded1984
Websitewww.virginatlantic.com

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure **Estimated