Melbourne Airport welcomed 419,122 passengers in February, a figure that would normally be reached within five days pre-COVID-19.
The low numbers were driven by Victoria’s five-day lockdown mid-month, and subsequent state border closures.
Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said February is traditionally a quieter travel period, but the latest numbers indicate damaged traveller confidence.
“The frequent closures of state borders continue to severely damage traveller confidence. We support the discussions being had by industry and National Cabinet about how the country transitions away from border closures as the primary policy response to outbreaks. Realistically, until travellers have that certainty the aviation and tourism sectors will continue to be impacted,” said Mr Strambi.
“Last month international arrivals were also paused again by the Victorian State Government, a decision we hope to see lifted soon. Each time international arrivals are paused we see international airlines reconsider their engagement to Melbourne, something which will hamper the State’s recovery from COVID.” 
Mr Strambi added that while it was positive to see the Federal Government investing in a tourism support package, he hoped that capital city tourism was considered in future funding rounds, particularly cities such as Melbourne which received high numbers of international tourists pre-COVID.
Passenger figures for February 2021:          

PassengersFebruary 2021February 2020Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)419,1222,619,422-84.0%
Total (ex transits)419,122

*Monthly percentage growth compared to February 2020

Passenger figures for Financial Year to February 2020/21

PassengersFinancial Year 2020/21 (‘000)Financial Year 2019/20 (‘000)Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)2,134,62725,221,730-91.5%
Total (ex transits)2,134,627

*percentage growth compared to FY 2019/20