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Melbourne Airport’s passenger numbers have fallen to their lowest level this year, with ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks, lockdowns and state border closures again causing significant disruption to air travel.

A total of 73,805 travellers passed through Melbourne Airport in August 2021, the lowest figure reported since October 2020.

Just 61,334 domestic passengers flew in and out of Melbourne in August, while the continued suspension of the New Zealand travel bubble resulted in a significant drop in international passenger numbers: down from 50,671 in July to just 12,471 in August.

Amid a promising increase in vaccination rates, Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi has called on state leaders to give travellers certainty ahead of the Christmas holidays.

“Australians deserve certainty about the future status of state borders so they can make plans to reconnect with loved ones, travel for business or take a holiday, particularly over summer”, he said.

“Under National Cabinet’s agreed re-opening plan, when 80% of the population has received two doses of vaccine, fully immunised Australians would be exempt from domestic restrictions and allowed to travel overseas.

“We will work with governments and airlines to implement whatever is required so this can happen.

“The ongoing closures and lockdowns have crippled the travel industry. While our year-to-date passenger numbers are higher than this time last year, they are still down 5.84 million on the corresponding figure in 2019.

“This month’s total passenger figure is less than the average daily figure in August 2019 (100,711).”

To encourage more vaccinations Melbourne Airport is offering a $10,000 travel voucher each month for the rest of the year to a fully immunised Victorian.

Passenger figures for August 2021:

PassengersAugust 2021August 2020Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)73,80536,471+102.4%
Total (ex transits)73,805

*Monthly percentage growth compared to August 2020

Passenger figures for Financial Year to August 2021/22

PassengersFinancial Year 2021/22Financial Year 2020/21Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)541,126114,245+373.7%
Total (ex transits)541,126

*percentage growth compared to FY 2020/21