Qantas says it trimmed capacity in the domestic market in March in response to weakness in the mining-related states of Western Australia and Queensland.
The airline’s monthly traffic statistics released on Thursday showed Qantas mainline’s domestic capacity, measured by available seat kilometres (ASK) fell 3.2 per cent in March, compared with the prior corresponding period.
It continues a shrinking of Qantas’s domestic capacity so far in 2014/15, with ASKs for the Flying Kangaroo’s Australian network down 3.3 per cent so far in the current financial year.
Meanwhile, the airline group’s low-cost unit Jetstar also reduced domestic seats in March, with ASKs down 3.8 per cent in the month.
Qantas said domestic capacity across Qantas and Jetstar was lower in March “in line with the mixed demand environment”.
“Qantas Domestic capacity was lower in the month reflecting adjustments to address resource market softness in WA and QLD,” Qantas said on Thursday.
“Jetstar Domestic capacity reductions reflected seasonal changes and weather-related cancellations.”
The company said domestic yields – or average airfares per passenger – “showed strong improvement” in March compared with the prior corresponding period thanks to a second month of increased demand during the cricket World Cup.
Unlike previous monthly traffic reports, the airline group did not offer any commentary on its yields for Qantas and Jetstar’s international operations for March, saying only that both reporters “strong improvement in revenue per available seat kilometre” compared with the prior corresponding period, driven by higher passenger loads.
However, Qantas said yields across the airline group domestic and international operations were higher so far in 2014/15 from the prior year.