The recurring theme of ‘weak domestic consumer sentiment” has once again been cited by a travel company when announcing slower than expected growth. On this occasion it was Virgin Australia. During May it said domestic business was up slightly, international flights did quite well but the company’s low cost carrier Tigerair Australia under-performed, with revenue load factor falling 15%.

“Tigerair Australia operating statistics for the month of May continued to be impacted by the launch of its new Brisbane base and recent launch of five new routes, which forms part of Tiger’s strategy to build a sustainable domestic network,” Virgin said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

“Early indications for June are that whilst the market remains challenging average load factors have improved materially since May.”

The Australian reports that Virgin Australia is cutting back on planned capacity growth to better manage its business in the present dour consumer environment.

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