Virgin Blue traffic up 3.5% in March

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Australia's Virgin Blue group reported a 3.5% growth in passenger traffic in March from a year ago.

Domestic RPKs grew 1.2%, while international RPKs were up 7.3%, says the airline.

In real terms, the total number of passengers carried declined 5.2% to 1.54 million. Domestic passenger numbers decreased 1.2% to 1.36 million and international passenger numbers fell 27.3% to 181,000.

Overall capacity, as measured in ASKs, increased 6.4%. Domestic capacity was up 5.2% and international capacity increased 8.3%.

Virgin Blue's passenger load factor fell 2.2 percentage points to 76.3%. Its domestic passenger load factor was down 3.1 percentage points to 80.5%, while its international passenger load factor declined 0.6 percentage points to 70.1%.