International competition helps Melbourne Airport hit record March high.

Melbourne Airport set a new March record for international passengers as Australian newcomer Turkish Airlines added extra capacity to the local market. 

 The 923,065 international travellers welcomed through Melbourne Airport last month surpassed the previous March record of 916,849 international passengers 2018. 

Turkish Airlines launched its Australian operation with flights from Melbourne Airport to Istanbul (via Singapore) on March 2, providing travellers and exporters with a new option to access Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 

In contrast to year-on-year international growth of 28 per cent, domestic traffic grew just five per cent with capacity restraints and higher airfares dampening demand. 

Overall, Melbourne Airport welcomed a total of 3,016,947 people in March, with passenger volumes now surpassing three million in four of the past six months. 

Melbourne Airport Chief Executive Officer Lorie Argus said the international market demonstrated that more competition and capacity helps reduce airfares and allows more people to travel. 

“It’s clear from our international figures that Victorians want to travel, and they’re prepared to do so in record numbers,” she said. 

“While domestic travel remains constrained by reduced capacity and subsequent higher airfares, it’s unlikely we’ll see a full recovery in the local market in the near future. 

“It’s important to acknowledge that airlines are grappling with a number of factors outside of their control, but it’s also worth noting that while domestic airfares went up over the Grand Prix weekend and Easter, the one thing that didn’t increase over those periods was the airport charge the airlines pay. 

“To help improve operational reliability and cater for future growth, we have submitted plans for a parallel north-south runway, which will drive choice and enable greater efficiency for tourism, trade and business. 

“We are also working with the airlines to explore ways of increasing our terminal capacity in a timely and cost-effective way.” 

 Melbourne Airport submitted its third runway plan to the Federal Government in February 2023. 

Passenger figures for March 2024:

Passengers March 2024 March 2023 Growth (%)* 
International 923,065 721,496  +28% 
Domestic 2,093,882 1,990,032 +5% 
Total (ex transits) 3,016,947 2,711,528 +11% 
International 923,065 
Domestic 2,093,882 
Total (ex transits) 3,016,947 

*Monthly percentage growth compared to March 2023 


Passenger figures for Financial Year to date 

Passengers Financial Year 2023/24 Financial Year 2022/23  Growth (%)* 
International 8,399,738 5,934,912 +42% 
Domestic 18,330,449 16,855,669 +9% 
Total (ex transits) 26,730,187 22,790,581 +17% 
International 8,399,738 
Domestic 18,330,449 
Total (ex transits) 26,730,187 

*percentage growth compared to FY 2022/23