Melbourne Airport is poised to make history as the first Australian airport to surpass its pre-pandemic international capacity, marking a significant milestone in the aviation industry's recovery.
In a remarkable upturn, airlines are gearing up to add thousands of extra seats, signaling a robust resurgence in international travel.
Starting next week, Singapore Airlines is set to enhance its operations in Melbourne by increasing its service frequency to five flights daily. This expansion not only boosts Melbourne Airport’s connectivity but also establishes it as the host of Singapore Airlines' highest year-round service frequency across all Australian destinations.
December is shaping up to be a landmark month for the airport, with several key developments lined up. Air India will commence its inaugural direct flights to Mumbai, representing a historic connection between the two cities. Additionally, Melbourne Airport will welcome the return of Aircalin from Noumea and an increase in Vietjet services to Ho Chi Minh City. Adding to this, Batik Air is all set to launch its direct Airbus A330 flights to Kuala Lumpur, further expanding the airport's international reach.
This surge in activity is underscored by a significant achievement – for the first time since January 2020, the monthly passenger count at Melbourne Airport exceeded three million. In October alone, the airport saw a total of 3,015,236 passengers, including over 2.1 million domestic travelers, setting a new post-pandemic record. The international passenger count witnessed a 47% rise compared to the same period last year, as Australians eagerly embraced the increased flight capacity for overseas travel and reunions with family and friends abroad.
The total passenger numbers in October 2021 reached 91% of those recorded in October 2019, with international travelers climbing to 95% of the pre-pandemic figures and domestic travel maintaining a steady 90%. Melbourne Airport's Chief Executive Officer, Lorie Argus, highlighted the significance of the upcoming months, noting that international seat numbers are expected to exceed 2019 levels well ahead of forecasts and surpassing other Australian airports. This achievement, according to Argus, is a testament to Victoria's attractive business environment and the diligent efforts of the airport team.
Argus also pointed out the wider economic implications of this development. Higher flight capacity typically leads to more competitive pricing, benefiting consumers.
Moreover, the average daily international flight is estimated to contribute approximately $154 million annually to Victoria's economy, underscoring the broader positive impact on the state.
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