Domestic market still suffering from capacity excess

737-700_VH-VBY_SYDNEY_28DECEMBER2012_SETH JAWORSKI
There are too many seats for not enough passengers in the domestic market. (Seth Jaworski)

Australia’s domestic aviation market continues to suffer from too many seats and not enough passengers, latest figures show.

Data from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) found Australia’s domestic carriers suffered a drop in load factors – an industry measure of how full planes are – in May.

The report found overall load factors fell to 71.5 per cent in May 2014, compared with 73.4 per cent in May 2013.

“Load factors on individual routes decreased on 33 of the 60 RPT (regular public transport) routes for which data is available in both years,” the BITRE report said.

Australia’s domestic carriers increased capacity, measured by available seats, by 1.1 per cent in May, while total passengers carried grew by just 0.1 per cent in the month.

Melbourne-Sydney, Australia’s busiest air route, recorded an increase in available seats of 4.3 per cent in May.

Brisbane-Sydney (4.8 per cent) and Brisbane-Melbourne (5.3 per cent) also posted reasonably significant lifts in capacity.

And Melbourne has closed the gap with Sydney in terms of Australia’s busiest airport – Tullamarine handled 1.847 million passengers in May, about 190,000 behind Kingsford-Smith on 2.037 million, the BITRE report said. The gap was about 215,000 passengers a year ago.

Meanwhile, local airlines carried 33,000 tonnes of cargo in May, down 8.4 per cent from a year ago.

Comments

  1. Freddie says

    I find this a bit worrying as in the case of Virgin they are working their staff ‘to death’….and genuinely don’t care. They are offering $100 to cabin crew to come to work on their days off and to ‘act up’ as the head person in the cabin – Cabin supervisor, even though they haven’t been trained for the position. This indicates they are feeling the bite and not prepared to employ any further staff – anywhere. As a passenger I am not happy with this arrangement as it undermines their so called professionalism. Times are obviously tough but no need to make the consumer ‘pay’ I don’t think you would ever see two First Officers in the cockpit – why then is it different in the cabin i.e. nobody really in control.