Melbourne Airport has recorded its lowest monthly traveller numbers since the airport first opened in 1970, as travel restrictions due to the coronavirus continue to crush the aviation industry.
However, the easing of some restrictions and preparation for a resumption of domestic travel provide reason for optimism.
In April, a little over 63,000 people passed through Melbourne Airport representing a fall of 98 per cent compared to volumes in April 2019. The fall was consistent across both the domestic and international segments.
Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said the airport remained open to support essential domestic travel and international repatriation flights, in addition to freight movements.
“Our numbers are the lowest they have been since the airport opened 50 years ago, which demonstrates the devastating impacts COVID-19 is having on air travel,” said Mr Strambi.
“We’ve drastically reduced costs right across the airport to suit the current situation and we are positioned to see this out, but on April’s volumes it is well short of commercial.
“Thanks to Australia’s extraordinary success in suppressing coronavirus, there are signs of light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
“While there is still a lot of uncertainty around when state borders will reopen, we are now preparing the airport for domestic travel to restart.
“We will continue to work with industry and government to do what is necessary to meet health requirements and restore passenger confidence to fly again.
“We want to see people in the air again as soon as it is safe and we want to avoid anything that makes travel less efficient, less enjoyable or more expensive.”
“To ensure we can power out of COVID with a domestic led recovery, it is critical that we have two healthy, competitive airline groups in Australia.
"Like everyone, we are keen to see a stronger, fitter Virgin Mark II emerge from administration.”
Passenger figures for April 2020:
|Total (ex transits)
*Monthly percentage growth compared to April 2019
Passenger figures for Financial Year July-April
||Financial Year 2019/20 (‘000)
||Financial Year 2018/19 (‘000)
*percentage growth compared to FY 2018/19b