China Southern Airlines posted a double-digit increase in total passenger traffic for December despite a fall in international traffic.

Total RPKs for December rose 12% thanks to a 14% rise in domestic passenger traffic, says the Guangzhou-based carrier. International passenger traffic, however, fell 4%.

In real terms, total passenger numbers rose 14% to 5.5 million. Domestic passenger numbers increased 15% to 5 million but international passenger numbers dropped 2% to 353,000.

The carrier responded by slashing international capacity, as measured by ASKs, by 8% and increasing domestic capacity by 13%.

This led to a 1.6 percentage point increase in the passenger load factor to 74.1%. The domestic passenger load factor rose one percentage point to 74.8% and international load factor rose three percentage points to 70.9%.

China Southern's cargo business also had mixed results. Total cargo traffic fell 0.2% because international cargo traffic dropped 9%, but domestic cargo traffic rose 5%.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news