International travel came roaring back to hit a new high at Melbourne Airport in December with passenger numbers to and from offshore destinations rising above the million mark.
The airport recorded 1.037 million international passengers during the month, up 35 per cent from a year earlier.
It is the first time since January 2020 that monthly international travel surpassed one million.
The surging international figures helped Melbourne Airport post its busiest month since COVID hit with a total of 3.08 million passengers passing through facility’s terminals – up 17 per cent from December 2022.
Domestic travel was up 10 per cent year-on-year to 2.048 million.
The surge in passenger numbers was aided by a record number of international flights of 4,976 from Melbourne Airport – up from the previous record of 4,834 flights set in January 2020.
Supporting the international passenger increase are Aircalin which has resumed flights to Noumea; Air India, which has launched services to Mumbai; Jetstar, which has new services to Fiji; and Asiana, which has kicked off a seasonal service to Seoul.
Although domestic travel is up on the previous year, domestic flight numbers remain below pre-COVID levels with 14,832 flights representing 95 per cent of the number flown in December 2019.
Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus says the record number of international passengers reflects efforts by the airport to bring new services and extra capacity to the Victorian capital.
“Despite the current cost-of-living pressures, many families are prioritising travel and any extra capacity we can bring to the market increases competition and choice for travellers,” Argus says.
“These flights also provide local exporters with increased opportunities to send goods into foreign markets, with an average daily international flight worth $154 million to the Victorian economy.
“In 2024 we look forward to bringing more seat capacity to Victoria and opening up new markets to our state.”
The latest international passenger numbers build on the significant rebound being experienced by Melbourne Airport with 5.47 million international passengers passing through the Tullamarine facility in FY24 to date, up 47 per cent from the same period in FY23.
Domestic numbers are up 8 per cent to 12.24 million for the year to date.
This brings total passenger numbers for the six months to the end of December to 15.06 million, an increase of 18 per cent.
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