Virgin Blue traffic up 16.6% in September

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Australia's Virgin Blue group reported a 16.6% growth in passenger traffic in September from a year before.

Domestic RPKs rose 5.3% and international RPKs surged 39.5%, says the airline.

In real terms, the total number of passengers carried was up 6.3% to 1.6 million. Domestic passenger numbers rose 4.2% to 1.36 million and international passenger numbers grew 19.5% to 253,152.

Overall capacity, as measured in ASKs, increased 16.3%. Domestic capacity was up 8.5% and international capacity increased 30.7%.

Virgin Blue's passenger load factor rose by 0.2 percentage points to 81.3%. Its domestic passenger load factor was down 2.4 percentage points to 81.4%, while its international passenger load factor rose 5.1 percentage points to 81.2%.

The figures include Virgin Blue's long-haul subsidiary V Australia and its regional carrier Pacific Blue.