Qantas says “weaker market demand” resulted in Qantas domestic passenger numbers falling by 2.9 per cent in September compared to September 2012, in contrast to competitor Virgin Australia, which saw 2.2 per cent growth in domestic traffic for the month.
Qantas Group’s overall passenger numbers were down 0.1 per cent on September 2012, with Qantas International (2.2 per cent) and Jetstar domestic (1.7 per cent) recording modest traffic growth, and Jetstar Asia the group standout with 12.8 per cent growth. Jetstar International (-3.1 per cent) and QantasLink (-2.5 per cent) were also down.
Group wide, available seat kilometres increased 0.2 per cent while revenue passenger kilometres fell 2.3 per cent. Qantas Domestic ASKs were down 0.3 per cent, with Qantas International and Jetstar domestic ASKs both up, by 0.1 and 4.2 per cent respectively.
Meanwhile, Virgin Australia’s domestic passenger growth of 2.2 per cent came on the back of a 6.0 per cent jump in available seat kilometres. RPKs were up 3.1 per cent but load factor fell by 2.2 percentage points.
Virgin Australia International traffic was also up, by 5.2 per cent, on flat ASKs.
Of Australia’s domestic airlines it is the now Virgin Australia-controlled Tigerair that is growing the fastest, with passenger numbers up 20 per cent, RPKs up 23.8 per cent and ASKs up 19.4 per cent. According to Virgin Australia Tigerair’s increased ASKs resulted from better utilisation of a “stable 11 aircraft fleet”.