Established by Sir Richard Branson in 1984, Virgin Atlantic now carries more than 5m passengers to 32 long-haul destinations each year. Virgin Group sold a 49% stake to Singapore Airlines in 2000, and last November it appointed Deutsche Bank to review all its strategic options, which include mergers or alliances with other airlines. The addition this year of a new route between Manchester and Las Vegas has helped generate 450 new jobs at the airline, but sales fell 9% to £2,357m in 2010 amid tough trading conditions, and the group posted a loss of £57m.

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Company details
CompanyVirgin Atlantic
ActivityAirline and tour operator
Sales £m2,357
Profit £m-57
Year endFeb 10
Principal shareholdersVirgin Group (51%), Singapore Airlines (49%)

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* Supplied by company † Annualised figure