The devastating impact of COVID-19 has seen Melbourne Airport’s FY19/20 passenger numbers fall to the same levels they were 10 years ago.
With more than 27.2 million people flying over the last financial year, overall traveller volumes were down by -27.2 per cent compared to FY18/19, driven by international border closures and domestic travel restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the virus.
For the month of June, international figures decreased by -98.3 per cent due to worldwide restrictions on air travel and domestic numbers were down by -93.7 per cent compared to June 2019.
However, prior to the coronavirus impacting aviation, Victoria’s major tourism gateway was welcoming on average 100,000 passengers and facilitating 670 aircraft movements per day.
Pre-COVID the airport also experienced its busiest month on record, welcoming more than 3.3 million people overall in December 2019.
Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Shane O’Hare said the coronavirus health pandemic was the biggest crisis to hit the aviation industry.
“Australia has had a difficult 12 months. First it was ravaged by bushfires – starting way back in spring for some states, then the COVID-19 health pandemic,” said Mr O’Hare.
“To deal with the impacts to our operation, our response to the pandemic needed to be safe, sensible and sustainable as we continued to support commercial flights and freight movements.
“Now the immediate priority is curtailing the spread of the virus to allow businesses to restart, so the economy can begin to recover and importantly for our business, so people can return to the skies.”
“Victoria has performed strongly as the growth engine of the nation in recent years, and it's vital that our state’s economy is re-integrated as soon as it is safe.”
Mr O’Hare said Melbourne Airport has a strong liquidity position and was prepared to weather the crisis through very careful management of costs.
“Our business is as well positioned as it can be to face the uncertainty that lies ahead. We anticipated from the outset that the return of travellers will lag the easing of restrictions.
“We’ve taken a very conservative approach to modelling what we think a return to the skies might look like for Melbourne and Victoria. The aborted July restart was disappointing, but not surprising. We will need to learn to adapt to the prospect of further outbreaks.
“Where possible we have continued to work on major projects that will set us up for future success such as the expansion of our International Arrivals Hall to improve the inbound traveller experience, extension of our taxiway network and construction of a new 464-room hotel.
“While we know we will be dealing with a reduced flight schedule for the foreseeable future, we will continue to enable flights 24/7 and hope to see an uplift in domestic flying as the spread of the virus is supressed in Australia.”
Passenger figures for June 2020:
|Total (ex transits)
*Monthly percentage growth compared to June 2019
Passenger figures for Financial Year July-June 2019/20
||Financial Year 2019/20 (‘000)
||Financial Year 2018/19 (‘000)
|Total (ex transits)
*percentage growth compared to FY 2018/19