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Record passengers at two Australian airports

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Record passengers at two Australian airports
An all-time record in Perth and a February record in Melbourne demonstrate Australia’s post-pandemic aviation recovery.

In January Perth Airport saw 1.39 million passengers transiting through the airport, the largest single-month figure ever recorded in Perth.

“Aviation plays a crucial role in expanding the Western Australia visitor economy, with 95 per cent of all out-of-state visitors arriving by air,” said Western Australia’s tourism minister Rita Saffioti.

“We look forward to growing these figures and reaching new heights through our continued support of the state’s aviation sector.”

In January almost 1,000 international and close to 1,780 domestic flights landed at Perth Airport.

Total take-offs and landings for the month – including intrastate movements – was 13,780.

Inbound international flights in January and February 2024 have surpassed pre-pandemic figures and the Western Australian Government is expecting a full recovery of international visitation next year.

According to Tourism Research Australia, which publishes Australia’s official visitation statistics, for the year to December 2023, the number of trips and nights spent in Australia are still down on pre-pandemic levels nationally. The number of trips is 76 per cent of pre-COVID and the nights spent in Australia is at 88 per cent of 2019 levels.

Perth Airport’s chief commercial and aviation officer, Kate Holsgrove, attributed January’s record numbers to “an ongoing strong performance in regional traffic along with the recovery of international and interstate passengers”.

“Last year we also set a record for a calendar year with more than 15 million passengers travelling through our terminals,” she said.

Since the pandemic induced travel pause ended, the state government has been offering financial incentives to reconnect Perth to the rest of the world.

“We’ve now connected Western Australia to 19 international destinations and we remain the only direct aviation connections to the United Kingdom and Continental Europe, cementing Perth’s reputation as the Western Gateway to Australia,” said Saffioti.

“Our government has taken a strong approach to reconnecting Western Australia with the rest of the world following the pandemic, and these numbers highlight the success of our investments and initiatives.”

Meanwhile, Melbourne Airport set a February record for international passengers this year. More than 915,000 international passengers transited through the airport.

This 102 per cent of the next best February on record, which was in 2019.

Melbourne Airport’s overall passenger numbers in February, at 2,859,942, were not quite a record, but numbers were boosted by concerts and the extra leap year day.

International passenger numbers at Melbourne Airport are 43 per cent up this financial year compared to last financial year.

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