Melbourne Airport has recorded its lowest monthly international passenger figure this century amid the ongoing impact of Covid-19 border closures and travel restrictions.

 10,356 international travellers passed through Victoria’s gateway airport in September 2021, just 1.1% of the 935,609 international passengers processed in September 2019, and one of the lowest numbers recorded since the airport opened in 1970.

 The total monthly passenger figure set a new 2021 low, with just 42,114 travellers using Melbourne Airport in September, down 43% on August (73,805).

 Interstate travel has also been significantly impacted by border closures, with only 31,758 people using the airport’s three domestic terminals through the course of the month.

 The disappointing figures came as much of the rest of the world was re-opening, and Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said it is vital Victoria keep pace with other states.

 “New South Wales has today announced plans to scrap quarantine requirements for all fully vaccinated travellers from November, and Victoria cannot afford to be left behind”, he said.

 “Any form of quarantine is a handbrake on travel, and governments must look to move past this as quickly as possible to allow fully vaccinated travellers to have their credentials checked and then go about their lives.

 “Airlines have portable assets and will look to fly their planes to places they can fill them, so Melbourne risks missing out if travellers are subject to any form of restriction not applied in other cities.

 “Direct flights are worth millions of dollars to the state’s economy and provide Victorian exporters with access to lucrative foreign markets.

 “It is also imperative that other states re-commit to the national plan for re-opening when they meet the 80% double dose benchmark, so that families and friends can re-connect, and tourists can re-discover our beautiful country.”

 Passenger figures for September 2021:

PassengersSeptember 2021September 2020Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)42,11437,701+11.71%
Total (ex transits)42,114

*Monthly percentage growth compared to September 2020

 Passenger figures for Financial Year to September

PassengersFinancial Year 2021/22Financial Year 2020/21Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)583,204151,946+283.82%
Total (ex transits)583,204

*percentage growth compared to FY 2020/21