A growing number of Victorians are reconnecting with family and friends through Melbourne Airport after the lifting of lockdowns and the easing of border restrictions that have decimated Australia’s travel industry.

Just 50,007 passengers were processed in October, a 19% increase on September (42,114) but less than half the airport’s pre-Covid daily average of around 100,000.

 Numbers have been steadily increasing since the removal of travel restrictions between Victoria and New South Wales, and the re-opening of the international border to fully vaccinated Australians on November 1.

Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Lorie Argus said there were signs of recovery for both domestic and international markets.

“In just the first eight days of November, we welcomed more passengers through the airport than in the entire month of October”, she said.

“We expect those domestic numbers will keep growing as airlines ramp up services on routes to New South Wales and Canberra, and Rex’s announcement today that it will start flying from Melbourne to Brisbane is another vote of confidence in the Victorian market.

“As other states re-open it’s important that we have a nationally consistent approach to travel, with no testing requirements for fully vaccinated passengers.

“It’s also important that the federal government sets a date for re-opening to foreign students, workers and tourists, so that airlines and travellers can plan with certainty.

“International air services will not be viable with Australian passengers alone and given most flights are currently arriving with empty seats, there is no reason that uncapped, quarantine-free arrival shouldn’t be opened up to other fully-vaccinated travellers”.

The number of domestic flights from Melbourne is expected to keep growing ahead of Christmas as South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland open their borders to Victorian travellers.

 Passenger figures for October 2021:

PassengersOctober 2021October 2020Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)50,00738,822+28.8%
Total (ex transits)50,007

*Monthly percentage growth compared to October 2020

 Passenger figures for Financial Year to October

PassengersFinancial Year 2021/22Financial Year 2020/21Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)633,247190,768+231.9%
Total (ex transits)633,247

*percentage growth compared to FY 2020/21