Melbourne Airport recorded five per cent growth in passenger numbers during January to reach 2,619,277 for the month.
International passenger numbers were up by two per cent to 679,429.
Passenger numbers from key Asian growth markets such as China, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan were affected by the Chinese New Year holiday period falling outside the month, which should be reflected in figures for February.
Traditional markets such as the United Kingdom and the United States showed better performance in January, with increases of seven per cent each. Travel by Australian passport holders increased by two per cent compared to the same period last year.
Melbourne Airport also celebrated its 100 millionth international passenger during January since the airport opened in 1970.
Melbourne Airport CEO Chris Woodruff said: “We’ll be celebrating another significant milestone in our international passenger growth later this month, when we welcome the first direct flight by Sichuan Airlines from Chengdu to Melbourne, arriving on February 28.
“This will be the first direct air service between Australia and the booming western China region, reaffirming Melbourne Airport’s leading role in the development of aviation links with China which has underpinned the strong growth in visitor numbers from China,” Woodruff said.
Domestic passengers increased by six per cent for the month, to reach 1,939,848 passengers.
Read the feature on Melbourne’s airports in the March issue of Australian Aviation.