Australia’s domestic aviation market continues to suffer from too many seats and not enough passengers, latest figures show.
Data from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) found Australia’s domestic carriers suffered a drop in load factors – an industry measure of how full planes are – in May.
The report found overall load factors fell to 71.5 per cent in May 2014, compared with 73.4 per cent in May 2013.
“Load factors on individual routes decreased on 33 of the 60 RPT (regular public transport) routes for which data is available in both years,” the BITRE report said.
Australia’s domestic carriers increased capacity, measured by available seats, by 1.1 per cent in May, while total passengers carried grew by just 0.1 per cent in the month.
Melbourne-Sydney, Australia’s busiest air route, recorded an increase in available seats of 4.3 per cent in May.
Brisbane-Sydney (4.8 per cent) and Brisbane-Melbourne (5.3 per cent) also posted reasonably significant lifts in capacity.
And Melbourne has closed the gap with Sydney in terms of Australia’s busiest airport – Tullamarine handled 1.847 million passengers in May, about 190,000 behind Kingsford-Smith on 2.037 million, the BITRE report said. The gap was about 215,000 passengers a year ago.
Meanwhile, local airlines carried 33,000 tonnes of cargo in May, down 8.4 per cent from a year ago.