The Qantas group operational statistics for September confirm that the airline has been flying at a loss for the first quarter of this financial year.

How deep the total group loss will be depends largely on the success of its sales of “loyalty” frequent flyer points to third parties such as stores selling refrigerators or groceries.

Followed by the fortunes of its fuel and foreign currency hedging actions over the longer term.

But first, a small dose of good news. Total passengers carried by all the Qantas brands by head count rose 6.6% in September compared to 2008.

The group’s airline brands also lifted the actual amount of revenue flying, (that is RPKs or revenue passengers times the kilometres each flew) by 2.7% and the judicious parking or retirement of jets helped load factors rise by 3.9 percentage points to 83.7%

But Qantas offers blunt guidance, and even blunter statistics, in this commentary with the ASX release.

In the detailed statistics (below) strong growth by Jetstar’s domestic and international services and modest rises in head counts by the full service domestic brands dragged the figures upwards against a -20.8% decline in Qantas international passenger numbers or a -7.1% drop measured by RPKs.

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Peter Fray
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