Passenger numbers at Melbourne and Sydney airports were up in February as overseas visitors headed Down Under to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Melbourne Airport chief executive Chris Woodruff said international passenger numbers rose 13.3 per cent to 669,403 in February thanks to a number of key events in the Victorian capital, including an international convention that drew 4,000 delegates.
“The ICC Cricket World Cup attracted visitors from all regions while the Indonesian Tupperware convention and Chinese New Year celebrations helped to boost Indonesian and Chinese passport holders by more than 70 and 30 per cent, respectively,” Woodruff said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Sydney Airport said international travellers rose 2.1 per cent to 1.045 million in February, with the number of Chinese passport holders up 23.7 per cent compared with the prior corresponding period.
Sydney Airport chief executive Kerrie Mather said the airport had its busiest ever day for Chinese passengers on February 27, when it processed 7,400 Chinese nationals.
“Over the last five years the number of Chinese passengers travelling during the Lunar New Year period has increased 90 per cent,” Mather said in a statement.
“We are delighted to be facilitating so many Chinese travellers and the visiting friends and relatives market, as Sydney is home to the largest Australian-Chinese community.”
Australia’s two biggest airports by passengers carried also reported an increase in domestic travellers in February.
Domestic passengers were up 2.7 per cent to 1.948 million at Sydney Airport in February, while they rose 3.9 per cent to 1.871 million at Melbourne Tullamarine.