Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey has told AAP that increasing consumer confidence could see airfares rise again by the end of the year, despite passenger numbers falling during August.
“The market is starting to turn, and we’ll be a major beneficiary,” he said. “Assuming the momentum we’re seeing continues to build, I think we’ll see at Christmas time fares start to return, maybe not to prior levels.”
Godfrey’s optimism comes after the airline reported that passenger numbers on its domestic services fell during August by 2.7 per cent, although a 2.5 per cent drop in capacity saw load factor improve by 1.3 percentage points to 81.1 per cent. The company’s international services saw their load factor fall by 2.4 percentage points to 71.5 per cent as capacity rose by 215.6 per cent due to the impact of V Australia’s services on the statistics.
Separately, V Australia announced that it has introduced signature dishes from consultant chef Luke Mangan for its business class passengers. Mangan has also worked as a consultant for Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America.