Australia’s “mixed demand environment” and the timing of public holidays prompted Qantas and Jetstar to take more seats out of the domestic market in April.
Qantas reduced capacity, measured by available seat kilometres, by five per cent in April, according to the airline group’s monthly traffic statistics released on Friday.
It continues a shrinking of Qantas’s domestic capacity so far in 2014/15, with ASKs for the Flying Kangaroo’s Australian network down 3.5 per cent in the current financial year.
The reduction in ASKs in 2014/15 has also resulted in fuller Qantas domestic flights, with load factors up 1.1 percentage points in the financial year to date to 74.8 per cent despite a 1.4 per cent reduction in the number of passengers carried.
“Qantas Domestic capacity was lower in the month reflecting adjustments to address resource market softness in Western Australia and Queensland,” the company said.
Meanwhile, Qantas’s low-cost unit Jetstar cut capacity by 4.4 per cent in the month, compared with the prior corresponding period, following the 3.8 per cent reduction in ASKs in March.
Load factors rose 3.3 percentage points in April to 80.4 per cent, with the number of passengers carried in the month rising 0.4 per cent to 1.084 million.
“Jetstar Domestic capacity reductions reflected seasonal changes and fewer peak leisure travel days in April 2015 compared to April 2014, due to the timing of public holidays,” the company said.
The airline group said yields across its domestic network were higher in March compared with the prior corresponding period.
And while Qantas’s international operations continued to improve yield, or average airfare per passenger, Jetstar’s international flying reported a decline in yield in April due to what the company said were “increased capacity and comparison to a peak leisure travel period in 2014”.