Virgin Atlantic named UK’s top private travel firm

Virgin Atlantic has emerged as the travel sector’s top private company, appearing in tenth place in the annual Sunday Times Top Track 100. 

The listing of the UK largest private firms saw the airline achieve sales of £2,782 million in 2015, albeit a drop of 5% year-on-year.

However, cost cutting and a partnership with Delta Air Lines kept Virgin Atlantic profitable for the second year running.

The carrier emerged just above Heathrow, which came 11th in the Top 100 with sales of £2,765 million as the number of passengers handled in 2015 rose by one million to about 75 million.

Norwich and Exeter airport owner Rigby Group came 27th in the list with sales of £1,628 million, followed by Virgin Rail in 51st place with sales of £1,020 million.

Haven, Warner and Butlin’s owner Bourne Leisure took 54th place with sales of £951 million after investing £123 million in upgrading its parks in 2015.

Monarch Holdings, the owner of Monarch Airlines, Monarch Holidays and Monarch Aircraft Engineering, took 68th position with sales of £828 million following the rescue by Grey Bull Capital and restructuring of the business.

Gatwick, which is vying with Heathrow for permission to build a new runway, took 86th place with ales of £673 million as it handled almost 41 million passengers.

Trailfinders, which runs 31 travel centres in the UK and Ireland, appeared in 94th place with sales of £649 million.

Chemical manufacturer Ineos came top of the Fast Track listing with sales of more than £18 billion. Swire, which has a minority stake in Cathay Pacific, was fourth with £7.2 billion.

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