Key points:

  • Passenger movements remain severely depressed by COVID-19 health response.
  • Domestic traveller numbers increase by approximately 27,000 compared to last month.
  • Total passenger numbers improve by almost 10,000 with a moderate lift in the domestic market tempered by a decline in repatriation flights.

 Melbourne Airport’s monthly passenger numbers remain at less than three per cent of prior year figures as Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact domestic and international aviation.

 Domestic traveller numbers lifted by around a thousand travellers per day, with 27,000 more domestic travellers passing through the airport in May compared to April 2020. However, a further reduction in international passengers saw the net overall increase limited to only 10,000.

 Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said the uplift in domestic numbers showed there was some demand in the market, but the nation’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis would necessarily limit movement around the country.

 “Many Australians still need to travel by air for essential work reasons. It’s pleasing to see that domestic passenger numbers have lifted in the past month, during a period in which the Australian public showed great commitment to flattening the infection curve,” said Mr Strambi.

 “The clear reality is that a return to our FY19 passenger numbers is going to be a slow process that we work through over many months – even a number of years. We know we have an integral role in helping to facilitate a safe, sensible and ultimately sustainable return to the skies.

 “Our own market research and the small but significant gain in domestic traveller numbers show there’s definitely pent-up demand to fly.

 “But it has to be done safely and at the right time for all those millions of Australians who have put holidays, family catch-ups and important business all on hold during the pandemic,” said Mr Strambi.

 “That latent demand will be extremely important to our domestic tourism industry in the coming months, and it will be the cause for optimism for whichever party succeeds in their bid for the Virgin Australia business.”

 Passenger figures for May 2020:                   

PassengersMay 2020May 2019Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)73,0222,885,517-97.5%
Total (ex transits)73,022

*Monthly percentage growth compared to May 2019

 Passenger figures for Financial Year July-May 2019/20

PassengersFinancial Year 2019/20 (‘000)Financial Year 2018/19 (‘000)Growth (%)*

*percentage growth compared to FY 2018/19