The Emirates-Qantas alliance has got off to a bad start for the Australian partner, with international passenger numbers falling significantly in the first month.

Qantas International carried 463,000 passengers during April, down 7.2 percent on the same period last year, figures released to the Australian Stock Exchange on Sunday show.

Its load factor, a key indicator of the airline’s profitability, also fell from 82.1 percent to 77.8 percent. The decline of 4.3 percentage points was larger than the 3.5 percent reduction in capacity.

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