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Qantas yields fall as pax rise in quarterly capacity figures

November 29, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Passenger numbers are rising for Qantas but yields are falling.

That’s the picture for the first quarter of the current financial year. Quarterly traffic and capacity data lodged by the carrier for the quarter to the end of September 2013 shows that while Qantas Group passenger numbers grew by 0.8% over the corresponding period in the previous year, yields fell.

The fall in Qantas Group yields reflected continued challenging market conditions on domestic and international routes, Qantas said. Total domestic (comprising Qantas Domestic, QantasLink and Jetstar Domestic) yields were lower than in the prior year. The carrier attributed that to continued 250x250market capacity growth and weak demand in the leisure and regional segments.

Some interesting facts to emerge from the statistics: Qantas International carried 1.5 million passengers in the quarter, an increase of 4.7% over the corresponding period last year. At the same time, Jetstar International carried 1.23 million passengers, a drop of 4.4% over the corresponding period last year.

Jetstar Asia figures leapt by 10.2% over the period, to 949,000 passengers. So taken together, the Jetstar brand (Jetstar International and Jetstar Asia) carried about 2.17 million passengers during the first quarter of the current financial year – or about 44.5% more than Qantas International.

Qantas International yields were lower due to “high levels of competitor capacity growth and an increase in Qantas’ available capacity to Asia”, the Australian carrier stated.

Group ASKs (available seat kilometres: the number of seats available for sale multiplied by the number of kilometres flown) were flat.

At the same time, RPKs (revenue passenger kilometres: the number of paying passengers carried multiplied by the number of kilometres flown) decreased by 1.2%, resulting in a revenue seat factor of 78.7% which was 1% lower than the previous year, Qantas stated.

Qantas loyalty billings surged. For the financial year to the end of September 2013, Qantas Frequent Flyer (QFF) billings increased by 7.1% from the previous year. Awards redeemed by QFF members increased by 8% from the same period in the previous year. Approximately 180,000 new members have joined the QFF program since 30 June 2013.

On 31 October 2013, Qantas provided an equity injection to Jetstar Japan to support the airline’s growth. A combined equity injection equivalent to approximately AUD 120 million, in the form of non-voting shares, will be equally shared by the two major shareholders, Qantas and Japan Airlines. The investment will increase Qantas’ and Japan Airlines’ economic interest to 45.7% each.

On 24 October 2013, Qantas completed an on-market share buy-back of up to AUD 100 million announced in November 2012. Approximately 68.8 million shares were bought back at an average price of AUD 1.447 per share for a total consideration of AUD 99.6 million.

At its 2013 Annual General Meeting on 18 October 2013, Qantas announced that Group yields are expected to decline in the first half of financial year 2014 by between 2% and 3% compared to the first half of financial year 2013, reflecting weak underlying demand and competitive pressures.

Written by : Peter Needham

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