All hands on deck at Melbourne Airport for the upcoming holidays

This represents 95 per cent of 2019 passenger numbers for the equivalent 21-day period, and is 30 per cent higher than last year’s Easter period.

Of those passengers, almost 1.5 million will be travelling domestically, while more than 635,000 international passengers are forecast.

It follows a busy Grand Prix weekend, with preliminary data indicating more than 375,000 people travelled through the airport over the four days of the race.

Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Jim Parashos said that the airport is well equipped to handle expected passenger volumes, with planning efforts underway for months ahead of the holiday period.

“We will have measures in place to facilitate smooth holiday travel, such as increased security staff, strategic aircraft bay allocation to spread passenger loads, additional customer service teams across our car parks, corporate staff assisting in terminals and technicians on hand to quickly respond to any infrastructure issues,” he said.

“We have supported the efforts of airlines, ground handling companies and contractors across the entire airport to recruit to fill vacancies. One of our biggest challenges has been baggage handling, and companies have filled around 1,000 roles over the past few months, so we don’t expect to have significant issues over the holidays.

“Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are shaping up to be the busiest travel days throughout the holiday period. During peak periods, there may be queues, but our staff will be working to move people through check-in and security as quickly as possible.

“Travellers should plan to arrive 1-2 hours before a domestic flight and 2-3 hours before an international flight – but not earlier than that, as some airlines don’t open check-in and will be managing large passenger volumes, so we want to avoid passengers waiting unnecessarily.

“Our car parks will be busy, so we encourage people to book online as far in advance as possible and allow extra time to find a car space.

“We know this is an exciting but busy time, so we ask people to be patient and respectful as the team works to get you where you need to be as quickly and safely as possible. We’ll have our friendly customer service staff and volunteers who can help answer any questions.

“We will have Easter activities to keep the kids entertained, with prizes to be won and the chance to take pictures with the Easter Bunny in T4.

“The Airservices Australia Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Service will also be raising money for the Good Friday Appeal, so stop by to get a sausage or a hot cross bun and support a great cause.”

Passengers can enjoy a range of new retail outlets that have recently opened at the airport, including Sushi Jiro, Icons Victoria and WHSmith in Terminal 1, and Daniel’s Donuts and Soul Origin in Terminal 4.