The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has released its annual reports on international and domestic passenger activity, showing that 2011 set new records for both sectors.
The international passenger activity report shows that over the year passenger numbers increased by five per cent on the previous year to 28.12 million. Total seat capacity increased by 6.9 per cent to 38.073 million. Seat utilisation fell by 2.6 percentage points to 74.8 per cent in 2011.
Passengers between China and Australia increased by more than 38 per cent, Indonesia over 22 per cent and Vietnam more than seven per cent.
Qantas Airways had the largest share of the international market with 18.2 per cent followed by Singapore Airlines with 9.0 per cent, Air New Zealand with 8.3 per cent, Emirates with 7.9 per cent and Jetstar with 7.8 per cent.
Domestic passenger numbers were up 0.6 per cent to 54.27 million, as available seats increased by 0.3 per cent to 69.84 million. Industry wide load factor decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 78.9 per cent.
Routes with the largest percentage increases in traffic were representative of the mining boom, with Perth-Newman (up 25.6 per cent), Melbourne-Newcastle (up 15.9 per cent) and Brisbane-Perth (14.9 per cent). Decreases were primarily on routes affected by the grounding of Tiger Airways, including Adelaide-Gold Coast (down 30.5 per cent), Gold Coast-Sydney (down 6.7 per cent), Canberra-Melbourne (down 6.4 per cent).
Melbourne-Sydney remained the busiest domestic route, despite a decrease of 2.2 per cent. This was followed by Brisbane-Sydney and Brisbane-Melbourne.