Qantas says that premium traffic is starting to return as its May operating statistics showed that the overall airline group recorded a 5.6 per cent increase in passenger numbers compared to the same time last year.
Qantas’s domestic services fared well during the month, with passenger numbers up 4.7 per cent, although an 8.7 per cent increase in capacity resulted in revenue seat factor falling by 2.5 percentage points to 75.4 per cent. QantasLink recorded a 10.2 per cent increase in passengers which lifted revenue passenger kilometres by 5.2 per cent, although it was not enough to offset a seven per cent increase in capacity, resulting in a slight fall in load factor to 63.9 per cent.
Interestingly, Jetstar’s domestic services recorded a 1.1 per cent decrease in passenger numbers, while a 7.6 per cent increase in capacity saw load factor fall by 7.2 points to 74.4 per cent. Qantas noted that competition in the low fare market had continued, potentially leading to a fall in yield from the low cost carrier.
While it says that premium traffic “continues to improve”, Qantas International again recorded a 15.9 per cent decrease in passengers, although cuts in capacity resulted in load factor declining by only 3.4 points to 76.1 per cent. Jetstar International services saw a minor increase in load factor to 71.4 per cent as it was boosted by a 9.2 per cent increase in revenue passenger kilometres.