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Hobart exceeds pre-COVID figures ahead of rivals

written by Adam Thorn | April 15, 2024

Victor Pody shot Rex’s 737-800 VH-8KH in Hobart.

Hobart has become one of Australia’s first major airports to see its overall passenger numbers surpass pro-COVID 2019.

More people travelled through the Tasmanian capital in the first three months of 2024 than any equivalent period in the airport’s history. The 764,417 travellers recorded is 60,000 more than last year and 10,000 up on 2019.

It comes as data from the Department of Transport show Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are still falling below pre-pandemic levels.

Hobart Airport CEO Norris Carter said the news came on the eve of the state’s upcoming school holidays, one of its busiest periods.

“There’s no question that Tasmania is in hot demand, with a record-breaking number of passengers travelling through Hobart Airport in the three months to the end of March this year,” Carter said.


“It’s a great thing for local hotels, restaurants, attractions, shops and the whole state. It’s clear that we’ve really hit our strides again as a must-see travel destination, and the airlines have responded with extra flights.

“This is why we’re investing $200 million to double the size of the terminal by 2027, with more seats, security screening, departure gates, baggage carousels, and food and retail outlets.”

Tasmania’s school holidays will begin on Monday, 16 April, and last until Friday, 26 April. From Easter to the end of the month, the airport is expecting an additional 33,000 extra visitors through the terminal.

“This is a huge 12 per cent increase in travellers compared with the same busy holiday period last year, with around an extra 10 flights per day on the busiest days,” Carter said.

The news of Hobart’s performance comes as many other airports see domestic numbers stagnate as consumers grapple with inflation and a cost-of-living crisis.

International, though, continues to grow, fuelled by more carriers returning to Australia, driving down prices.

Last month, for example, Australian Aviation reported how Melbourne Airport set a new February record for international passengers.

It came after the airport in December became the first to exceed pre-pandemic international capacity in a month that saw it break 1 million monthly international passengers for the first time since the pandemic.

While Perth recently recorded its best-ever January, those numbers were fuelled by a boom in FIFO and regional travel.

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