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Int’l air travel records unusual drop in latest Aussie stats

June 12, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

International scheduled passenger traffic into and out of Australia stalled and fell by 2.5% in March 2019 – the first decrease to be recorded in eight years, according to official figures released yesterday.

The timing of the federal election may have had something to do with it – next month’s statistics will reveal if the downturn is a blip or a trend.

In terms of passenger carriage, Australian airlines now hold more than one third of the total market share into and out of the country.

Qantas had the largest share of the market in March 2019 with 18.2% of the total followed by Jetstar with 9%, latest figures from the Australian government’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) reveal.

The two Qantas Group carriers were followed by Singapore Airlines with 8.2%, Air New Zealand with 8% and Emirates with 6.8%.

Compared to March 2018, Qantas’ share increased by 1.3%, Jetstar’s share decreased by 0.5%, Singapore Airlines’ share increased by 0.4%, Air New Zealand’s  share increased by 0.7% and Emirates’ share decreased by 1.1%.

The Qantas group – Qantas Airways, Jetstar and Jetstar Asia (0.2%) accounted for 27.4% of total passenger carriage in March 2019. The group’s share in March 2018 was 26.7%.

Above: Monthly passenger traffic for the year ended March 2019 compared with monthly passenger traffic for the year ended March 2018

The share of passenger traffic accounted for by Australian designated airlines has increased from 32.3% in March 2018 to 33.9% in March 2019. Qantas Airways, Jetstar and Virgin Australia contributed to the Australian airline share in March 2019.

Total international scheduled passenger traffic was 3.287 million compared to 3.370 million in March 2018.  The last time monthly passenger traffic recorded a decrease compared to the same month in the previous year was in March 2011, and the decrease on that occasion was just 1.6%.

Sixty-one international airlines operated scheduled services to/from Australia during the month (includes five dedicated freight airlines but excludes airlines operating only via code share arrangements).

Passenger traffic for the year ended March 2019 was 41.749 million which is a 3.8% increase over the figure for the year ended March 2018. – Total seats made available on international scheduled operations to/from Australia during March 2019 were 4.477 million – an increase of 0.1% compared to March 2018.

The overall seat utilisation percentage (including China Airlines, Emirates, Qantas and Singapore Airlines passengers travelling through Australian ports) decreased from 78.5% in March 2018 to 75.6% in March 2019.

Low-cost Carriers (LCCs) AirAsia X, Cebu Pacific Air, Indonesia AirAsia, Jetstar, Jetstar Asia and Scoot Tigerair accounted for 14.4% of total international passenger traffic to/from Australia in March 2019. The LCC’s share in March 2018 was 15.8%.

Edited by Peter Needham

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