Virgin Blue reports 21.6% growth in November traffic

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Australian airline group Virgin Blue has posted a 21.6% growth in passenger traffic in November, propelled by strong demand in the international sector.

International RPKs increased 158.7% from a year ago, but domestic RPKs fell 3%. As a result, overall RPKs grew 21.6%, says Virgin Blue.

The total number of passengers carried grew 0.5% to 1.54 million from 1.53 million, it adds. International passenger numbers rose 30.9% to 215,206 from 164,443, while domestic passenger numbers fell 3.1% to 1.33 million from 1.37 million.

Overall capacity, as measured by ASKs, grew 20.4%, says the group. International ASKs jumped 150.9%, but domestic ASKs fell 7.1%. The overall passenger load factor grew 0.9 percentage points to 79.9% from 79%.

Virgin Blue launched a number of international routes in November, such as long-haul subsidiary V Australia's Brisbane-Phuket and Sydney-Nadi services.

The statistics exclude Polynesian Blue, says Virgin Blue. The group includes Virgin Blue, V Australia and New Zealand-based Pacific Blue.