Virgin Australia traffic down 4.8% in Apr-2011

Virgin Australia reported its passenger numbers shrank 4.8% year-on-year in Apr-2011, with international passenger numbers down nearly 20%, due to the withdrawal of Pacific Blue from the New Zealand domestic market. Revenue passenger kilometers were stronger however, up 1.3% in Australian domestic markets and 12.6% in international markets, primarily due to increased long-haul flying.

Virgin Australia's load factors rose 2.1 percentage points across its network to 79.8%. Domestic load factors average 81.2%, up 1.7 ppts, while international load factors rose 3 ppts to 78%.

Shares in UK LCC and regional operator bounced back 5.4%. The threat of the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland has subsided, with EUROCONTROL confirming that while there are some limited areas of ash concentration across Europe, these are expected to have very little or no impact on European air traffic.

Selected LCC share price movements (% change): 26-May-2011