Key points

  • A record breaking month for Melbourne Airport:
    •  1.02 million international travellers fly – breaking through the one million mark in a calendar month for the first time.
    • New record for international departures at 0.54 million
    • Busiest day on record for Terminal 2 (departures and arrivals) with 38,716 international travellers on 23 December.
    • Melbourne Airport surpasses 10 million international travellers overall for the calendar year.
    • Three route launches: Air Canada’s seasonal service to Vancouver, Jetstar’s non-stop flight to Zhengzhou and Xiamen Airlines non-stop service to Hangzhou.
    • T2 Luxury retail precinct and T3 ½ pop-up venue opens.

Melbourne Airport has celebrated the end of 2017 by breaking a series of passenger number records, launching new international routes and enhancing the traveller experience with the opening of a $50 million dollar shopping and dining upgrade.

For the first time in the airport’s history more than a million international passengers travelled through the airport in a single calendar month with 1.02 million movements, surpassing the previous record of 977,938 in January 2017.

Terminal 2 was abuzz in the lead up to Christmas with 38,716 passengers in the precinct on 23 December, a new ‘busiest day’ milestone for T2. On the same day more than 20,000 holidaymakers travelled on departing flights – setting a new record for T2 Departures.

To top off a remarkable year of growth in travel and tourism, Melbourne Airport welcomed its 10 millionth international passenger for the first time during a calendar year period.

Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said he was overjoyed with the milestones reached in December.

“December was an outstanding month with great passenger numbers that reflect the demand for international travel in and out of the world’s most liveable city,” said Mr Strambi.

“We’re extremely proud to have welcomed 1.02 million international travellers through our airport in the month, and to achieve a growth of 7.2 per cent in international passenger traffic compared to December 2016.

“Terminal 2 handled almost 39,000 people in a single day, which is by far the highest passenger volume recorded in the precinct. In addition, we hit a new record for international departures with 0.54 million people flying overseas in December, surpassing the previous record of 0.51 million in December 2016.”

Mr Strambi said the airport welcomed three new international services last month, which supported the demand for international travel.

“There were no signs of slowing down as the year came to an end with the launch of three new non-stop services to Vancouver, Zhengzhou and Hangzhou,” said Mr Strambi.

“Qantas also announced a new non-stop route between Melbourne to San Francisco, to commence this year.

“To support our growth in international travel, we unveiled a $50 million dollar T2 Luxury Precinct at the beginning of the month featuring 11 high-end retailers and five new hospitality venues that truly reflect Melbourne’s renowned food offering.

“Our latest passenger data reveals a steady growth of almost 2 per cent in the domestic market compared to the same time last year. Also, recent statistics published by confirm the Melbourne-Sydney route is the second busiest air route in the world.

“To cater to our growing domestic market the airport partnered with Collingwood brewery Stomping Ground to deliver a uniquely Melbourne themed pop-up venue, T3 ½, giving travellers a new outdoor space to relax in before boarding. It was a hit over Christmas and it’s going to be very popular during the Australian Open.”

Mr Strambi said after a busy end to 2017, the focus is now on the year ahead with continued investment into the airport facilities to meet the demand in travel.


Passenger figures for December 2017: 

PassengersDecember 2017December 2016Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)3,252,2593,141,1723.5%
Total (ex transits)3,252,259

*monthly percentage growth compared to December 2016

†financial year-to-date percentage growth 

Passenger figures for FY to December 2017: 

PassengersDecember 2017December 2016Growth (%)†
Total (ex transits)18,703,24317,914,5554.4%
Total (ex transits)18,703,243