Metropolitan Melbourne’s second wave of COVID-19 has kept air passenger movements to a minimum, as Victoria deals with Australia’s toughest border restrictions.
In July, almost 78,000 people travelled in and out of Melbourne Airport for essential purposes only – a decline of 97.6 per cent compared to the same time last year.
Adding to the pressure, Greater Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire re-entered Stage 3 restrictions during the month in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Those measures have since been further tightened with Greater Melbourne moving to Stage 4 in August, and Stage 3 restrictions now in place across all of regional Victoria.
Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said Melbourne Airport faced more challenges than any other major Australian airport.
“Unfortunately, due to the rapid growth in the number of local COVID cases we’ve been unable to facilitate flights for anything other than essential travel purposes, and the movement of critical goods and freight,” said Mr Strambi.
“Before COVID, six of the 10 busiest domestic air routes in Australia originated in Melbourne, and around a quarter of the country’s GDP was being generated by the Victorian economy. Clearly, we’ve all got to get a handle on the most recent outbreaks quickly, so the nation can start rebuilding those vital trade and travel networks once again.
“We’re closely monitoring the situation and we’re very clear that the immediate focus needs to be on stopping the spread of COVID-19. But a very close second priority needs to be restoring economic confidence and activity both in Victoria and around the country. After all, our health system, our welfare support and most other things that make up the way of life we enjoy are dependent on a sound economic base which is being progressively eroded.”
Passenger figures for July 2020:
|Total (ex transits)
*Monthly percentage growth compared to July 2019