Adelaide Airport suffered a drop in international passengers in 2015/16 due to the withdrawal of AirAsia X’s service to Kuala Lumpur.
The airport handled 858,000 international travellers in the 12 months to June 30 2016, a decline of 8.3 per cent from 936,000 in the prior corresponding period.
“The (-8.3 per cent) decline in passengers observed over the financial year reflects the cancellation of the daily AirAsia X service in January 2015,” Adelaide Airport said in its quarterly traffic report.
“Combined with the Malaysia Airlines reductions in September 2015, there was a net reduction of 10 services per week to Kuala Lumpur.”
Malaysia Airlines cut its daily flight to Adelaide to four flights per week, while AirAsia X dropped the route entirely as the low-cost carrier battled to turnaround heavy financial losses.
On a positive note, Adelaide received new long-haul service to Doha from Qatar Airways with Airbus A350-900 equipment in May, helping offset the reductions from the two Malaysian carriers.
The airport is also preparing to welcome new nonstop flights to Guangzhou with China Southern starting in December.
Domestic passengers at Adelaide rose 1.9 per cent in 2015/16, as new nonstop flights to Melbourne (Avalon) started in March and the number of travellers to the the other mainland capitals increased – Sydney grew 3.3 per cent, Melbourne was 2.4 per cent higher and Brisbane was up 4.3 per cent.
And looking ahead, Jetstar has scheduled a new three-times-a-week Adelaide-Sunshine Coast service with Airbus A320s starting on September 30.
Overall, there were 7.893 million passengers at Adelaide Airport in 2015/16, an 0.7 per cent improvement from 7.842 million in the prior year.