The Australian aviation writer Steve Creedy is reporting on the newspaper's web site Virgin Australia appears to be weathering increasing competition by posting a 2.7% increase in passenger numbers last month. During August 1.65 million passengers were carried by the Virgin Australia group.
The airline introduced more widebody Airbus A330 and bigger Boeing 737 aircraft during August which led to a 6.6% increase in capacity. The load factor across the group was 75.7% for the month.
The year to date group passenger numbers were up 1.9% to 3.34 million as compared to the same period last tear.
Virgin's August passenger numbers grew on domestic routes (up 2.3 per cent) and international services (up 4.9 per cent) compared to the corresponding month last year. The load factor on international moved up marginally, but the domestic load factor fell 4.3 points to 75.3 per cent. The airline does not issue yield figures, a practice now adopted by Qantas, but said year-to-date yield growth on both domestic and international services was "positive".
Qantas has been increasing capacity as it moves to protect its profit-maximising 65 per cent market share and Tiger Airways Australia has also been boosting services as it returned to normal operations.