Australian carrier Virgin Blue's traffic continued to rise in September due to the start up of its long-haul operations, but the group's key domestic market continued to be soft.

Overall RPKs increased by 28.5%, with actual passenger numbers increasing by 3.1% to 1.5 million. Capacity, as measured by ASKs, increased by 25.7$ with the load factor up 1.7 percentage points to 81.1%.

Virgin Blue's domestic traffic was virtually flat, with RPKs down 0.7% and passenger numbers falling 1.5% to 1.3 million. ASKs declined by 4.9% and that helped the load factor to increase by 3.5 percentage points to 83.8%.

In the international segment, traffic continued to increase due to the start up of long-haul carrier V Australia. RPKs were up 220.1% while actual passenger numbers increased by 44.7%. Asks were up 210.4%, and the load factor was 2.4 percentage points higher at 76.1%.

Apart from Virgin Blue and V Australia, the group includes New Zealand-based Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news