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Brisbane and Melbourne brace for busiest post-COVID days yet

written by Jake Nelson | September 14, 2023

Aircraft parked at Brisbane Airport. (Image: Brisbane Airport)

Both Brisbane and Melbourne Airports are forecasting their busiest single days post-pandemic during the upcoming spring holidays.

Brisbane is expecting 1.65 million people through its terminals over the two-week period, with 70,000 on 29 September alone, while Melbourne is tipping an average of 100,000 passengers per day, including 110,000 on 15 September.

According to figures released by Melbourne Airport, a total of 2,818,867 passengers passed through the terminals in August, up 22 per cent year-on-year. This includes a 55 per cent increase in international and an 11 per cent increase in domestic traffic.

This is a sign that demand for travel is still strong despite cost-of-living pressures, said Melbourne Airport chief of aviation Jim Parashos, who ascribed the anticipated passenger numbers to school holidays, football finals, and the return of group travel from China.

“We are hosting a Grand Final crowd here every day for the next two weeks, so the terminals and car parks will be busy,” he said.


“We are working hard to bring competition into the market where we can to make travel as accessible and affordable for Victorians as possible.”

Brisbane is anticipating domestic traffic at 92 per cent of pre-COVID-19 levels and international traffic at 75 per cent.

“The Domestic Terminal will be humming these school holidays as Aussies come for an early taste of Summer, and when Brisbane Airport is busy, Queensland is busy,” said Stephen Becket, head of public affairs at Brisbane Airport.

“With each new international route announcement, that [international] recovery gets stronger, fuelling jobs across Queensland’s tourism industry. Soon non-stop flights from mainland China will begin, so the connection to Queensland’s most lucrative tourism market will be restored.”

July saw a slip in the domestic recovery at Melbourne Airport, while Brisbane Airport bucked the trend of domestic stagnation in June with a 98 per cent recovery.

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