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Perth Airport nears pre-COVID levels as regional traffic surges

written by Jake Nelson | August 15, 2023

Perth Airport before the morning FIFO rush. (Image: Geoffrey Thomas)

Perth Airport has hit almost 100 per cent of pre-pandemic traffic for the first time since 2019.

Western Australia’s main gateway surpassed 14 million passengers in the 2022–23 financial year, down just two per cent on FY2019. This was driven in no small part by a huge boost in regional aviation traffic, with both May and June 2023 seeing record regional passenger numbers.

“International and interstate passenger numbers are still rebounding strongly, now down only 11 per cent and 5 per cent respectively on pre-COVID June numbers,” said Perth Airport’s acting CEO, Kate Holsgrove.

“Regional aviation, however, has soared over the past three years with record numbers in both May and June 2023.

“One of the big highlights of FY23 for us was the record-breaking figure in May when regional passenger numbers surged past 500,000 in a single month for the first time ever. June regional passenger numbers were 39 per cent above pre-Covid levels.”


The airport has seen a number of international routes return or commence over the past year, including with Philippine Airlines, Citilink, Vietjet, and Indonesia AirAsia, with more to start in coming months.

“It’s imperative that we work together with tourism, business, educational institutions and government to ensure we maximise the opportunities that international aviation services can deliver to Western Australia,” said Holsgrove.

“We are now working with airline partners to secure non-stop flights to India, China and Vietnam, and we have a clear strategy for aviation growth at Perth Airport, for the benefit of all Western Australians”.

Holsgrove has also used the passenger figures to call for more progress on the airport’s new runway.

“We are at runway capacity in our morning peak periods from Tuesday to Thursday and there are also significant constraints at other times during the day,” she said.

“If we want to grow international and domestic tourism, and if we want the resources sector to continue its growth, we need to get on with construction.”

The news comes as the ACCC releases its latest Airport Monitoring Report, which shows that all four of Australia’s major airports – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth – lost money on aeronautical services in the 2021–22 financial year, though still turned a profit owing to margins from other ground services such as car parking.

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