COVID outbreaks and subsequent international and domestic travel restrictions imposed over the last 12 months have resulted in Melbourne Airport’s passenger numbers dropping to just over 6.1 million for FY20/21.
The figures were similar to those last recorded almost 40 years ago, when the airport welcomed 6.07 million passengers in FY84/85.
Last financial year, domestic numbers peaked at 5,939,368, representing a 68.8 per cent decline on FY19/20, while international numbers totalled 230,455, a 97.2 per cent drop on the same time last year.
Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said aviation remained one of the hardest hit global industries due to COVID-19.
“The sector has never experienced a deeper or longer crisis than COVID; it almost completely grounded interstate and international travel last year and it continues to prevent flying due to outbreaks and subsequent border closures,” said Mr Strambi.
“Looking back at the past 12 months, Australia managed its outbreaks better than many other parts of the world, and during periods of no community transmission interstate travel in and out of Melbourne rose to around 45 per cent of pre-COVID levels. That demonstrates a resilient confidence and determination to travel.
“Domestically, we need to move past border closures so people can plan and book trips with confidence.
“Vaccination is our only path out of this situation, it is the only way to unlock international travel opportunities and to restore the freedoms we once enjoyed. It is a matter of urgent and critical national interest that we address our vaccine supply challenges as well as vaccine hesitancy among some parts of our community.
“In an effort to drive local vaccination rates, the airport launched its own incentive program offering $10,000 to six fully vaccinated Victorians. We hope the travel competition speeds up inoculations to support the nation’s recovery.   
“While we know international airlines are eager to return to Australia and to Melbourne, we must recognise the challenges ahead of us as aircraft are redeployed to markets which are reopening while we remain captive to snap lockdowns. We continue to work closely with our international airline partners and state and federal governments to plan to reconnect Victorians to the rest of the world when it is safe to do so.”
Passenger figures for June 2021:                   

PassengersJune 2021June 2020Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)351,842139,492152%
Total (ex transits)351,842

*Monthly percentage growth compared to June 2020

Passenger figures for Financial Year to July-June 2020/21

PassengersFinancial Year 2020/21 (‘000)Financial Year 2019/20 (‘000)Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)6,169,82327,227,376-77.3%
Total (ex transits)6,169,823

*percentage growth compared to FY 2019/20