The latest Domestic Airlines Activity report from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has shown that while passenger numbers across the domestic network increased strongly during August, stronger capacity growth led to a decline in load factor.
For the month there were 4.6 million domestic passengers, which is an increase of 7.6 per cent compared to August 2009. As a result, revenue passenger kilometres increased by the same magnitude, although a 9.7 per cent increase in capacity led to seat load factor slipping back 1.5 percentage points to 79.1 per cent. Most of the additional capacity appears to have come from greater frequencies, with the number of aircraft trips up seven per cent for the month.
By route, the largest increase in passenger traffic was on Gold Coast-Newcastle, which was up 23.3 per cent. This was followed by Brisbane-Melbourne (up 20.0 per cent), Newman-Perth (up 18.9 per cent), Darwin-Melbourne (up 18.4 per cent) and Adelaide-Brisbane (up 14.9 per cent). The biggest decrease in traffic was on the Adelaide-Canberra route (down 22.1 per cent), followed by Adelaide-Perth (down 13.5 per cent), Darwin-Perth (down 10.0 per cent), Adelaide-Gold Coast (down 6.3 per cent) and Melbourne-Sunshine Coast (down 5.9 per cent).