Key points

  • International passenger volumes rise 9.2% on May 17.
  • Melbourne Airport adds 1.1 million international seats in 12 months to May 2018.

Melbourne Airport has continued to experience a rise in international passenger volumes with more than 800,000 travellers flying in and out of the world’s most liveable city last month, representing a rise of 9.2 per cent compared to May last year.

A surge in international seat capacity has helped fuel the rise in passenger traffic thanks to airlines introducing 1.1 million additional airline seat capacity from May 2017 to May 2018.

The domestic passenger market remained consistent in May peaking at 2,027,401, an increase of 1.2 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said the airport had worked hard at attracting new seats to Melbourne giving Victorians more choice and opportunity to fly overseas.

“Facilitating travel and enabling connections all over the world is at the core of our business and it is a pleasure to be able to expand our network so significantly with more than one million seats in a 12 month period,” said Mr Strambi. 

“The latest passenger data confirms that international travel is escalating, and despite adding more seats it is important to note that load factors have remained consistent, demonstrating the demand in travel in and out of Melbourne Airport.

“Airlines are realising the potential in Melbourne and have opened up a number of new international destinations that were never before available to cities such as Vancouver, Santiago and Colombo, which has helped drive passenger movements.

“Growth on existing markets also remains strong and we are only going to grow further as forecasts predict Melbourne’s passenger numbers will rise to almost 70 million people per year by 2038, making the need for a third runway critically important. We are nearing capacity on our current two-runway system so it is vital that we build a third runway to ensure we can continue to supply Victoria with the capacity needed for tourism, freight and trade purposes.”

Visit Victoria Chief Executive Officer Peter Bingeman congratulated Melbourne Airport on another solid passenger performance report and the airport’s work toward securing greater international seat capacity.


“Visit Victoria has significantly expanded the state’s international presence, including delivery of the first dedicated China campaign for Victoria in six years.”


“We’ve also added more world-class attractions to our envied calendar of major events which is working to bring more international visitors to Victoria and has cemented our reputation as a global events city.”


 Passenger figures for May 2018: 

PassengersMay 2018May 2017Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)2,833,9772,741,5273.4%
Total (ex transits)2,833,977

*monthly percentage growth compared to May 2017

†financial year-to-date percentage growth   

Passenger figures for FY to May 2018: 

PassengersMay 2018May 2017Growth (%)†
Total (ex transits)33,807,00432,357,3314.5%
Total (ex transits)33,807,004