Melbourne Airport is preparing for an influx of international arrivals following the Victorian government’s announcement it will remove the mandatory quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Australians from November 1.

The move brings Victoria into line with New South Wales and will allow families and friends to re-unite ahead of summer, while also giving thousands of people the opportunity to enjoy long-awaited overseas holidays.

Melbourne Airport also welcomed confirmation that New South Wales will re-open to Victorians on November 1, allowing airlines to ramp up their schedules.

Before the pandemic the Melbourne-Sydney route was one of the busiest in the world.

Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi heralded today’s announcements as a vital boost for the nation’s aviation industry and the broader state economy.

“Victorians have worked incredibly hard to get us to this point, and these changes will allow thousands of Melbourne Airport workers to return to their jobs”, he said.

“After more than 18 months of restrictions on international travel, this is a very welcome first step towards re-opening Victoria to the world.

“Airlines that have continued to fly into Melbourne near-empty will now be able to start selling thousands more seats, while other carriers have already started scheduling flights to popular holiday destinations such as Fiji.

“We’ve had some positive conversations with Qantas about them moving flights forward, and look forward to working with the state government to bring other international carriers back to Victoria.

“Melbourne will be competing with the rest of the world for airline attention at a time when their fleets have shrunk, and their balance sheets are bleeding.

“It is critical that the federal government now works towards re-opening the country to international students and tourists so that Australia isn’t left further behind.”

Pre-pandemic more than two thirds of the international capacity into Melbourne was provided by foreign airlines.

There are currently 13 carriers scheduled to operate more than 34,000 international seats into Melbourne in the week of November 1, with that number due to increase to 18 carriers and more than 94,000 seats by Christmas.