Virgin Blue traffic up 22% in March

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Australia's Virgin Blue group has posted a 22% growth in RPKs in March, driven by a surge in international traffic.

Domestic RPKs remained flat with 2% growth, but international RPKs jumped 87%, says the carrier.

In real numbers, total passengers handled by the airline rose 4% to 1.6 million. Domestic passenger numbers rose 2% to 1.4 million, and international passenger numbers grew 20% to 248,890.

Overall capacity, as measured in ASKs, grew 21%. Domestic capacity fell 1%, while international capacity rose 82%.

Virgin Blue's overall passenger load factor rose 0.4 percentage points to 78.5%. Its domestic passenger load factor grew two percentage points to 83.6%, and its international passenger load factor increased two percentage points to 70.7%.

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