Qantas says the election is still dampening demand

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Qantas’s latest traffic statistics show no improvement since the airline warned last month that domestic travel has slowed in Australia as the nation heads towards a federal election.

The April numbers show group revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) declined, with a weaker performance in domestic and international businesses.

A short time ago, Qantas shares were up 1.6% to $3.05 but still down on the three month high of $4.21.

“Group domestic RASK was lower in April, in line with previous commentary on the disconnect in the timing of Easter and school holidays and demand softness related to the upcoming federal election in Australia,” Qantas said.

However, the airline has reduced domestic capacity and has seen improved trends through May and into forward bookings for June.

Qantas last month cut its capacity growth forecasts after seat demand began to ease over Easter.

In April, domestic capacity was 0.5% lower, reflecting the first round of reductions in response to weaker demand.

Virgin Australia also has been cutting capacity as the nation heads to a federal election on July 2.

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