Melbourne Airport

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Melbourne Airport achieves 5% total passenger growth in 2012

Jan 18, 2013

International and domestic passenger numbers at Melbourne Airport increased by 5 per cent in the 2012 calendar year to reach a total of 29,297,387 passengers.

Melbourne Airport CEO, Mr Chris Woodruff, said that continuing international passenger growth and increased capacity on domestic services had seen Melbourne pass the 29 million passenger mark in 2012.

International passenger growth increased by 6 per cent compared to 2011. Countries with strong growth included New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

Domestic passengers increased by 5 per cent in 2012 compared to 2011, reaching 22.3 million passengers. 

For the month of December 2012, international passengers increased by 5 per cent compared to the same month last year, to reach a total of 668,283 passengers. Australian passport holders increased by 3 per cent compared to December 2011. Domestic passengers increased by 8 per cent compared to the same period last year to reach a total of 1,952,992 passengers.

“During the year, airlines introduced significant capacity increases on domestic routes which stimulated demand. We see domestic capacity growth continuing, and passengers are certainly making the most of the competitive market, particularly in the last few months of 2012,” said Mr Woodruff.

“Throughout the year we completed a number of key infrastructure projects, including facility and road improvements, to support our growth and we are actively planning for our future growth in the years and decades ahead.”

Melbourne Airport will publish its draft Master Plan in the first quarter of this year for public comment. The draft Master Plan will set out the vision for the future development of the airport over the next two decades, including plans for a third runway and improvements to ground transport infrastructure.

“We are continuing planning for the expansion of our domestic aviation capacity through the development of our Southern Precinct program,” Mr Woodruff said.

Passenger figures for December 2012:


December 2012

December 2012

Growth (%)*









Total (excl. transits)









*monthly percentage growth compared to December 2011

Strong performing nationalities by passport holders for December 2012:

North Asia (%)* South East Asia (%)* Europe (%)* Other (%)*
Hong Kong 27.8 India 40.9 Italy 27.7 Brazil 27.1
China 7.7 Sri Lanka 12.6 Sweden 27.6 Australia 3.0
    Vietnam 11.8 Ireland 21.3 NZ 7.7






*monthly percentage growth compared to December 2011

Passenger figures for Quarter 2 and 2012:

  Quarter 2 Financial year to date Moving annual total













Dec 2012


Dec 2011




International 1,844 1,750 5% 3,575 3,418 5% 6,942 6,571 6%
Domestic 5,979 5,471 9% 11,699 10,805 8% 22,355 21,353 5%
Total (ex transits) 7,823 7,221 8% 15,274 14,223 7% 29,297 27,924 5%
Transit 35 35 0 61 67 (9%) 126 137 (8%)
Total 7,858 7,256 8% 15,335 14,290 7% 29,423 28,061 5%









*Figures are rounded


For further information, please contact: Melbourne Airport Media – (03) 9335 3666 

Appendix – A review of 2012

The calendar year to 31 December 2012 saw total passenger growth of 5 per cent at Melbourne Airport, with 29,297,387 passengers passing through the airport.

International review
An additional 369,818 international passengers or 6 per cent increase compared to 2011, flew in and out of Melbourne during 2012 with international passengers reaching a total of 6,941,556 passengers. 

The key international growth markets were from Asia: China up by 16.6 per cent, Taiwan up by 15.7%, Hong Kong up 15 per cent, Sri Lanka up by 12.6 per cent, India up by 12 per cent and the Philippines increased by 11.1 per cent compared to 2011.

Traditional markets also experienced growth, with passport holders from New Zealand increasing by 7.8 per cent and the USA by 4.1 per cent compared to 2011. Australian passport holders increased by 4.9 per cent for 2012.

New and increased international airline services in 2012 included:

  • Emirates launched daily A380 services in October, flying direct to Melbourne from Dubai and onto Auckland.
  • Singapore Airlines increased capacity on the Melbourne- Singapore route, introducing a second daily A380 Melbourne-Singapore service in August.  In December, Singapore Airlines also announced a further increase in capacity with a fourth daily service to commence from June 2013.
  • China Southern increased seat capacity on the Melbourne - Guangzhou route, operating double daily services during the peak season.
  • China Eastern increased capacity on its daily Melbourne-Shanghai services, introducing its new A330 and replacing Boeing 767 aircraft.
  • Air China increased services on its Shanghai -Beijing route, introducing a fifth weekly service.
  • Air New Zealand increased capacity on its services to Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown.
  • Jetstar launched twice-weekly Melbourne-Honolulu services in December 2012. A third weekly service will be launched in March 2013. Jetstar also increased capacity on the Bali and Queenstown routes. 
  • Garuda introduced additional services on both the Jakarta and Bali routes.
  • Vietnam Airlines increased services to Hanoi.
  • Royal Brunei Airlines increased to daily Brunei – Melbourne services from March 2012, making Melbourne its only Australian destination.
  • Virgin Australia increased seat capacity on the Fiji and Auckland routes, and also introduced seasonal services to Dunedin.

International seat capacity increased by 320,334 seats, an increase of 3.5 per cent.

International passenger growth for the 2012 calendar year by passport holder:

North Asia (%)* South East Asia (%)* Europe (%)* Other (%)*
China 16.6 Sri Lanka 12.6 Greece 18.1 Brazil 11.6
Taiwan 15.7 India 12.0 Italy 13.1 NZ 7.8
 Hong Kong 15.0 Philippines 11.1 Sweden 7.6 Canada 5.5
Japan 2.2 Vietnam 8.1 Ireland 6.7 USA 4.1







*monthly percentage growth compared to December 2011

Domestic review
Domestic passengers increased by 5 per cent compared to 2011, taking total domestic passengers to 22,355,831 for 2012.

Domestic airline service developments in 2012 included:

  • Qantas increased capacity on a number of key capital city routes including Perth, Hobart, and Darwin.
  • Virgin Australia increased capacity with Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra, and Launceston growing through additional services and upgrades to wide body aircraft
  • Jetstar continued to grow its Melbourne base with capacity increases to key leisure destinations including the Gold Coast and Cairns as well as adding services to capital city routes.
  • Tiger Airways gradually grew its Melbourne network throughout the year to eight destinations including Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Hobart, Mackay, Perth, and Sydney. 
  • Regional Express (REX) launched 6 per week services to Broken Hill in July and also added capacity on its Mount Gambier, and Merimbula routes.
  • Air Australia discontinued all services from Melbourne in February 2012.

Domestic seat capacity increased by 2,307,245 seats, an increase of 8.8 per cent.

To accommodate the forecast growth at Melbourne Airport, in September 2012, Melbourne Airport successfully entered into an agreement to issue a $175 million placement in the US Private Placement (USPP) market.  Spread over 10 years (A$ 125 million) and 15 years (A$50 million), this agreement is in addition to the USD$600 million raised in June 2011. This transaction reaffirms the market’s confidence in the management of Melbourne Airport and extends the maturity profile of the business consistent with the long term nature of the business and assets.

Melbourne Airport continues to be rated A- by Standard & Poor’s and A3 by Moody’s.

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