There were 5.13 million passengers carried on Australian domestic flights in August, a modest increase of 1.9 per cent on August 2012, while the 60,232 aircraft movements for the month represented a one percent decrease.
Airlines increased capacity at a rate one per cent lower than passenger traffic growth, increasing load factors and reflecting a further curtailment of the rampant capacity increases that were a feature earlier this year. Available seat kilometres (ASKs) increased one per cent compared with August 2012.
Melbourne-Sydney remained Australia’s busiest RPT route with 709,921 passengers, an increase of 0.7 per cent compared with August 2012. It was followed by Brisbane-Sydney with 378,477 passengers (up 0.3 per cent) and Brisbane-Melbourne with 279,458 passengers (up 2.7 per cent).
The greatest percentage increase in RPT passenger numbers was Melbourne-Sunshine Coast, which was up 57.1 per cent. There were large increases on a number of other routes, including Launceston-Sydney (up 28.3 per cent), Hobart-Melbourne (up 21.4 per cent), Adelaide-Gold Coast (up 21.2 per cent) and Cairns-Melbourne (up 20.0 per cent).
In August 2013, Sydney remained Australia’s busiest domestic airport with 2.15 million passenger movements, followed by Melbourne with 1.97 million passenger movements and Brisbane with 1.46 million passenger movements.
While August was flat for passenger traffic compared with the higher growth rates recorded earlier in the year, total cargo movements at Australian airports decreased a sizeable 10.1 per cent.
According to the BITRE statistics, the number of passengers travelling through regional airports was 2.14 million, 4.5 per cent higher than in August 2012. Out of the top 50 regional airports, the strongest growth was at Roma airport (up 64.1 per cent), while the strongest fall was at Ayers Rock, down 26.8 per cent.
Fixed-wing charter operators carried more than 223,000 passengers in August, an increase of 12.8 per cent on the same month last year. More than one-third of all charter passengers in Australia took flights either to or from Perth Airport.