Despite the continued challenges over the 2009/2010 financial year, Australia again reached new records for domestic and international passengers over the year.
According to new reports from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), over the financial year there were 51.76 million domestic passengers, which is an increase of three per cent compared to the previous financial year. The fastest growing domestic route for the year was Adelaide-Gold Coast which was up 19.4 per cent, while the key Sydney-Melbourne route saw an impressive growth of 12.2 per cent.
International traffic was stronger again, with a 9.1 per cent increase in passenger numbers to 25.6 million. The biggest growth was on the Melbourne-Abu Dhabi route, where passenger numbers were up 350 per cent, followed by Denpasar-Perth which increased by 96 per cent. The additional capacity on Los Angeles-Sydney drove up traffic on that route by 54 per cent.
Transport Minister Anthony Albanese welcomed the numbers, noting the strength of Australia’s airline industry against the background of a challenging time for other carriers. “Globally the story has been very different. Over the past 18 months passenger numbers fell by as much as 10 per cent and airlines collectively lost over $9 billion, with more than 50 ceasing to operate altogether,” he said.
The trend of strong passenger traffic growth looks set to continue, with BITRE’s international traffic data for August showing that passenger traffic increased by 10.4 per cent to 2.2 million, continuing a trend of passenger growth of more than nine per cent which started in September 2009.