Cebu Pacific Air becomes latest airline to put pressure on Qantas’ international network
Demand for air travel within Australia has grown by just 1.0% to 57.7 million passengers in the year ending June 2014. The country’s international air travel sector showed rather healthier growth, up 6.8% to 31.4 million in the same period. Double-digit international growth was reported in both January and April 2014, with the re-timing of Easter being a likely contributing factor in the latter month.
Among the country’s top 10 domestic routes, eight reported growth in the year ending June 2014 (the latest available data), with Melbourne-Adelaide (+6.0%) leading the way, and only Melbourne-Gold Coast (-1.3%) and Melbourne-Perth (-1.0%) reporting declines. With almost 8.3 million annual passengers, the Sydney-Melbourne route remains by far the country’s busiest air route (and one of the busiest in the world), but grew by just 1.0% in the last 12 months.
New domestic routes launched in the last few months include new routes from Tigerair Australia (Sydney-Adelaide, Sydney-Proserpine, Brisbane-Adelaide, Brisbane-Cairns, Brisbane-Darwin), as well as Qantas (Brisbane-Port Macquarie, Sydney-Hervey Bay, Sydney-Hamilton Island), REX (Sydney-Armidale) and Jetstar Airways (Gold Coast-Mackay, Melbourne-Ayers Rock).
International traffic up almost 7% in last 12 months
For the year ended June 2014, international traffic was up 6.8%. Sydney leads the way with 13.2 million passengers (up 4.9%), followed by Melbourne with 7.7 million (up 9.7%) and Brisbane with 4.8 million (up 6.3%). Perth reported 8% growth to just over four million international passengers, while Adelaide reported an impressive 28% increase to just over 900,000. Since March 2009 international traffic has grown year-on-year every month with the solitary exception of March 2011. Significant new international services launched in the last six months to/from Australia include:
- Jetstar Airways: Melbourne (MEL) to Osaka Kansai (KIX) via Cairns on 30 March 2014, twice-weekly with A330s.
- Jetstar Airways: Brisbane (BNE) to Denpasar (DPS) on 17 April 2014, four times weekly with 787-8s.
- Jetstar Airways: Melbourne (MEL) to Tokyo Narita (NRT) on 29 April 2014, four times weekly with A330-200s.
- Fiji Airways: Suva (SUV) to Sydney (SYD) on 2 May 2014, twice-weekly with B737-800s.
- Etihad Airways: Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Perth (PER) on 15 July 2014, daily with A330-200s.
- Cebu Pacific Air: Manila (MNL) to Sydney (SYD) on 9 September 2014, with four times weekly A330-300 flights.
According to the latest BITRE figures for June 2014, Qantas has just 15.8% of the international market followed by Emirates (9.6%). Singapore Airlines is in third place with 8.9%. Combining Qantas and Jetstar Airways still gives the Qantas Group of airlines less than one-quarter of the Australian international market. The biggest gainer in terms of market share is AirAsia X which has increased its share from 3.0% in June 2013 to 4.6% in June 2014.