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July sees passenger growth continuing, capacity/demand struggle abates

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 4, 2013
Strategies of the two major carriers to pull back capacity growth are beginning to pay dividends, with demand exceeding capacity during July. (Dave Parer)
Strategies of the two major carriers to pull back capacity growth are beginning to pay dividends, with demand exceeding capacity during July. (Dave Parer)

The number of passengers carried on domestic airlines during July increased by 4.5 per cent compared to the same month last year, with 5.35 million passengers carried, while the number of aircraft movements increased 3.5 per cent to 61,899 for the month.

Reflecting a reversal of recent years, demand exceeded capacity during July, pushing load factors higher from 77.9 per cent in July 2012 to 78.8 per cent this year. Revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) on scheduled services were 6.15 billion for the month, up 3.6 per cent compared with July 2012. Capacity, measured by available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased 2.4 per cent compared with July 2012 to a total of 7.81 billion.

Sustained buoyancy in the FIFO market saw fixed-wing charter operators carry more than 225,000 passengers in July 2013, an increase of 17.1 per cent on July 2012. More than one-third of all charter passengers in Australia took flights either to or from Perth Airport.

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Melbourne-Sydney remained Australia’s busiest RPT route with 723,934 passengers, an increase of 4.9 per cent compared with July 2012. It was followed by Brisbane-Sydney with 386,496 passengers (up 2.4 per cent) and Brisbane-Melbourne with 286,676 passengers (up 2.7 per cent).

The greatest percentage increase in RPT passenger numbers, compared to July 2012, was on the Launceston-Sydney route (up 34.3 per cent). There were large increases on a number of other routes, including Newman-Perth (up 31.9 per cent), Melbourne-Sunshine Coast (up 31.6 per cent), Hobart-Melbourne (up 20.7 per cent) and Launceston-Melbourne (up 20.5 per cent).

RPT routes with traffic decreases in July 2013 compared with July 2012, included Ayers Rock-Sydney (down 21 per cent), Kalgoorlie-Perth (down 18.3 per cent), Perth-Port Hedland (down 11.0 per cent) and Brisbane-Mackay (down 10.8 per cent).

In July 2013, Sydney remained Australia’s busiest domestic airport with 2.22 million passenger movements, followed by Melbourne with 2.05 million and Brisbane with 1.52 million passenger movements.

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