Virgin Australia has reported higher passenger numbers and load factors in April alongside a slight reduction in capacity.
The airline’s monthly traffic statistics published on Monday showed Virgin’s domestic operations had 4.9 per cent more passengers in April compared with the prior corresponding period.
Load factors increased 5.8 percentage points to 77.3 per cent, while capacity as measured by available seat kilometres fell half a per cent.
It was the third consecutive month Virgin has reduced capacity in the domestic market.
The airline said yield was positive for the financial year to April, compared with the prior year.
Last week Qantas said there would be zero capacity growth across its Qantas domestic, QantasLink and Jetstar domestic operations in July, August and September, compared with the prior corresponding period.
The two carriers are on track to post full year losses as a result of a bruising battle over Australian skies as they chased business travellers and added seats in a market that could not absorb the extra capacity.
Tiger Airways, which is 60 per cent owned by Virgin, reported a 21.2 per cent lift in passenger numbers amid a 43.5 per cent increase in capacity in April.
Load factors fell to 82.6 per cent in April, down from 88.5 per cent in the same month a year ago.
Tiger’s April performance was impacted by the launch of three new routes from Brisbane to Darwin, Cairns and the Whitsunday Coast in the month, Virgin said.
Also, Virgin noted Tiger had shown “continued improvements in aircraft utilisation” in April, compared with the prior year.