5 Jul 2012

Virgin Australia passes Qantas in customer numbers

7:27 am on 5 July 2012

Virgin Australia carried more domestic passengers in Australia than the country's flagship carrier Qantas in the year to the end of May.

The airline carried 15.53 million passengers during the 12 month period, about 40,000 more than its rival at 15.49 million.

It is the first time Virgin has out-performed Qantas over a 12-month period, AAP reports.

However the Qantas figures do not include passengers who flew with its fully-owned subsidiary, Jetstar, who numbered 9.84 million.

A Commonwealth Bank analyst says Qantas' fleet grounding in October contributed to an 11% drop in flier numbers in that month.