Three million passengers as Melbourne Airport eyes full international recovery.

Melbourne Airport is on track to become the first Australian airport to exceed pre-pandemic levels of international capacity, with airlines set to add thousands of extra seats.

From next week, Singapore Airlines will increase its Melbourne service to five times a day, giving Melbourne Airport the airline’s highest year-round frequency of any Australian port.

In December Melbourne Airport will welcome the start of Air India’s historic direct flights to Mumbai, the return of Aircalin from Noumea, an increase in Vietjet services to Ho Chi Minh City and the launch of Batik Air’s direct Airbus A330 flights to Kuala Lumpur.

It comes after monthly passenger numbers surpassed three million for the first time since January 2020.

In October, Melbourne Airport processed a total of 3,015,236 people, including more than 2.1 million domestic travellers, which is also a new post-pandemic record.

International passenger numbers were up 47% on October the previous year, as Australians took advantage of increasing capacity to reconnect with foreign family and friends or head for an overseas break.

The overall figure represents 91% of the total passenger numbers recorded in October 2019, with international travellers climbing to 95% of pre-pandemic levels and domestic steady at 90%.

Melbourne Airport Chief Executive Officer Lorie Argus said the coming month would be significant.

“We are on track to bring international seat numbers back above 2019 levels well ahead of forecast and ahead of other Australian airports”, she said.

“This reflects Victoria’s compelling business proposition and the hard work of our team.

“Higher capacity typically means lower prices so this is great news for consumers, and with an average daily international flight worth $154 million a year to the Victorian economy it’s also great news for the state.”

Passenger figures for October 2023:

PassengersOctober 2023October 2022Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)3,015,2362,570,990+17%
Total (ex transits)3,015,236

*Monthly percentage growth compared to October 2022

Passenger figures for Financial Year to date

PassengersFinancial Year 2023/24Financial Year 2022/23Growth (%)*
Total (ex transits)11,662,1799,883,850+18%
Total (ex transits)11,662,179

*percentage growth compared to FY 2022/23