Australia's Qantas Airways and its subsidiaries posted a 3% increase in November RPKs compared with a year ago, with total passenger numbers rising 9.7% to 3.5 million.

Capacity, as measured by ASKs, fell 2%, says the Oneworld Alliance carrier. The load factor rose 4 percentage points to 82.3%.

Qantas forecasts a net profit in the range of A$50-A$150 million ($44-$133 million) for the first six months of its 2009-2010 financial year, which ends on 31 December.

This would be sharply lower than the corresponding period last year, when the carrier earned a first half net profit of A$216 million.

"Operating conditions have improved when compared to the second half of the 2008/2009 financial year, with passenger volumes and yield improving," says Qantas.

November RPKs for the QantasLink domestic unit fell 2.4%, with passengers carried rising 1.5% to 361,000. ASKs fell just 0.1% and the load factor declined 1.6 percentage points to 68.7%.

In Qantas's international business, RPKs fell 10.2% and passengers carried fell 22.6% to 482,000. ASKs fell 14%, resulting in the passenger load factor climbing 3.6 percentage points to 83%.

Low cost subsidiary Jetstar International saw RPKs rise 59.7% and passengers carried more than doubling to 335,000. ASKs rose 48.1% and the load factor grew 5.7 percentage points to 79%.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news