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Soaring demand for leisure travel across the Grand Prix, Easter and Anzac Day weekends has helped Melbourne Airport to its strongest monthly passenger figure in more than two years.

The airport welcomed a total of 2,264,236 passengers in April, the highest number since February 2020.

 In a sign the local market is recovering, 1,939,159 people arrived or departed on domestic flights, which represents 89% of the 2,186,105 domestic passengers processed in April 2019.

The busiest day for domestic departures was Friday April 22 with 46,482 departing passengers; just 2% fewer than the record 47,600 set on March 29, 2018.

Melbourne Airport also welcomed 325,007 international passengers in April, up 58% on the 205,711 international travellers processed in the previous month.

Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said the figures highlight the need to press ahead with planning and construction of a third runway.

 “We knew demand for travel would return as soon as conditions permitted, and we’ve seen that over the Easter school holidays”, he said.

 “We expect the airport will be even busier over the winter break, and while that’s an exciting prospect after these past few years, it does present challenges.

“Before the pandemic Melbourne Airport’s runway infrastructure was already reaching its limits,so it’s important we have that extra capacity ready to go when it’s needed.

 “The proposed north-south parallel runway will increase the airport’s capacity and allow the airfield to operate more efficiently while reducing the likelihood of delays.

 Public submissions on the third runway project close on Monday May 16.

 Passenger figures for April 2022:

PassengersApril 2022April 2021Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)2,264,2361,430,343+58%
Total (ex transits)2,264,236

*Monthly percentage growth compared to April 2021

Passenger figures for Financial Year to April

PassengersFinancial Year 2021/22Financial Year 2020/21Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)8,517,5044,556,121+87%
Total (ex transits)8,517,504

*percentage growth compared to FY 2020/21