Virgin Blue traffic up 6.3% in January

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Australia's Virgin Blue group reported a 6.3% growth in passenger traffic in January from a year before.

Domestic RPKs rose 2.3% and international RPKs increased 12%, says the airline.

In real terms, the total number of passengers carried was down 3.7% to 1.57 million. Domestic passenger numbers decreased 0.8% to 1.34 million and international passenger numbers also declined 17.2% to 236,090.

Overall capacity, as measured in ASKs, increased 8.5%. Domestic capacity was up 6.9% and international capacity increased 11%.

Virgin Blue's passenger load factor declined 1.7 percentage points to 82.5%. Its domestic passenger load factor was down 3.6 percentage points to 79.9%, while its international passenger load factor rose 0.8 percentage points to 86.1%.

The group also reported an 8.4% increase in its total passenger traffic for December 2010, while its domestic and international RPKs for the month grew 5.6% and 12.8% respectively.

Total passenger numbers inched up 0.4% to 1.6 million and the domestic passenger numbers grew 3.6% to 1.38 million, while the international passenger movements were down 16.1% to 217,033.

The overall capacity, as measured in ASKs increased 9%. Domestic capacity was up 9.2% and international capacity increased 8.9%.

Its passenger load factor declined 0.5 percentage points to 81.1%. The domestic passenger load factor was down 2.7 percentage points to 80.7%, while its international passenger load factor rose 2.9 percentage points to 81.8%.

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