Tuesdata: Who rules the domestic skies as travel returns?
The battle between the local airlines is a close run race
Welcome to the latest edition of Tuesdata. With a portion of the industry having jetted off to Cannes after the Covid-induced hiatus, it’s an appropriate time to focus the attention of Tuesdata on the travel industry, and more specifically, airlines.
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The statistics from the The Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) show that there were 4.92m passengers carried by Australian domestic carriers in April 2022.
That is compared to 3.81m in April 2021 (while there were minimal lockdowns in Australia) and 5.37m in pre-COVID April 2019.
To put those numbers into context, in August during the lockdown period towards the end of 2021, passenger numbers had dropped to below 1m.
The significant increase in passenger numbers as Covid restrictions have eased has created healthy competition in the Australian commercial aviation industry.
Today we’ll be using statistics from the ACCC’s latest two Airline Competition in Australia reports published in March and June this year, revealing statistics for January and April respectively. We’ll be aligning the data with the marketing strategies and campaigns from those airlines.
While the might of Qantas Group, with Qantas and Jetstar in it, is the clear leader by passenger numbers, when you count by airline rather than group, the intensity of the competition becomes apparent.
In the marketing industry, it makes more sense to do that as Qantas and Jetstar go very separate ways in terms of target audience and marketing strategies. And at times, neither of them have been the leaders.
The early leader in 2022 was Virgin Australia. According to the ACCC report from March, “Virgin had the highest passenger market share of any single airline brand in January 2022 with 34% of passengers, ahead of Qantas and Jetstar with 31% each, and Rex with 4%.”
The rankings have changed slightly now, but considering that, coming out of administration, Virgin Australia held 22% market share, it’s a significant recovery.
Below is the domestic airline rankings by passengers carried as of April this year, published in the June report from the ACCC. We’ll also include what should be a fifth major player coming later in the year.
There are other smaller players in the domestic market, but for this post we will focus on the four big ones and the new up and comer.