Melbourne Airport

News & events

Melbourne Airport achieves 7% international passenger growth in 2013

Jan 20, 2014

Strong international passenger growth in December has seen Melbourne Airport handle more than 7 million international passengers for the year, a 7 per cent increase compared to 2012.

Melbourne Airport CEO Mr Chris Woodruff said 2013 was a milestone year for the airport.

“The approval of our Master Plan was a significant achievement for 2013 and sets the direction of our developments for the next 20 years. We also laid the foundations for the largest transformation of Melbourne Airport since it opened more than 40 years ago as we ensure that our facilities are able to manage the 60 million passengers forecast for 2033,” said Mr Woodruff.

“We also reached the milestone mark of 30 million passengers in 2013 and as Victoria’s international aviation gateway, we will continue to provide access to global destinations as well as help to strengthen ties with key business, education, tourism and export markets to support the growth of our great state.”

“Our airline customers also supported Victoria in 2013 with many introducing new services, new destinations or increased capacity on key routes with a focus on the growing Asian market,” said Mr Woodruff.

Countries with strong growth in 2013 were Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Vietnam, all growing by more than 10 per cent compared to 2012. Australian passport holders increased by 6.5 per cent for 2013.

Domestic passengers increased by 3 per cent in 2013 compared to 2012, reaching 23,051,421 passengers. 

For the month of December 2013, international passengers increased by 10 per cent and domestic passengers increased by 3 per cent compared to the same month last year. Australian passport holders increased by 7 per cent. 

“December was a record month for us - it was our busiest month on record, the 21st December was also our busiest day on record for international passengers and, for the first time, there were more than 700,000 international passengers in a month,” said Mr Woodruff.

“Melbourne is known as Australia’s event capital with events such as The Ashes and the World Diabetes Conference, both held in December, showcasing Melbourne for the global destination it is.”

Passenger figures for December 2013:


December 2013

December 2012

Growth (%)*









Total (excl. transits)




*monthly percentage growth compared to December 2012

Strong performing nationalities by passport holders for December 2013:

North Asia (%)* South East Asia (%)* Europe (%)* Other (%)*
Taiwan 34.4 Singapore 43.7 Spain 30.9 USA 14.7
Japan 27.8 Malaysia 27.0 Greece 28.9 Fiji 7.4
Hong Kong 19.0 Vietnam 15.8 UK 27.4 Australia 6.8
China 8.2 Philippines 7.5 Germany 14.5 NZ 5.8




*monthly percentage growth compared to December 2012

Passenger figures for Quarter 2 and 2013:

Quarter 2 Financial year to date Moving annual total













Dec 2013


Dec 2012




International 1,971 1,844 7% 3,902 3,575 9% 7,425 6,941 7%
Domestic 6,055 5,961 2% 11,979 11,681 3% 23,051 22,336 3%
Total (ex transits) 8,026 7,805 3% 15,881 15,256 4% 30,476 29,277 4%
Transit 37 35 6% 67 61 10% 135 126 7%
Total 8,603 7,840 3% 15,948 15,317 4% 30,611 29,403 4%





*Figures are rounded

A review of 2013
The calendar year to 31 December 2013 saw total passenger growth of 4 per cent at Melbourne Airport, with 30,475,166 passengers passing through the airport.

International review
An additional 482,189 international passengers, or 7 per cent increase compared to 2012, flew in and out of Melbourne during 2013 with international passengers reaching a total of 7,423,745 passengers. 

New and increased international airline services in 2013 included:

  • Sichuan Airlines commenced its first Australian service with the launch of direct Chengdu-Melbourne service three times per week
    Qantas launched a daily Melbourne-Singapore service
  • Garuda added two Bali-Melbourne services to become a daily service and also added another weekly Jakarta-Melbourne service to reach 5 daily services
  • Virgin Australia increased its Melbourne-Fiji services to a daily service
  • Singapore Airlines introduced a fourth daily service to Singapore
  • Air India commenced services in Australia with the launch of its Delhi-Sydney-Melbourne service with the first 787 Dreamliner
  • Air Asia X increased services to Malaysia to 14 per week
  • Malaysian Airlines introduced a third daily service to Malaysia
  • Jetstar introduced a fourth weekly service to Honolulu during the peak summer period.  Jetstar also launched a direct service to Phuket and upgraded to a B787 on its Bali services. A direct service to Tokyo was also announced and is due to commence in April 2014.
  • Etihad introduced the larger Boeing 777 aircraft for its services
  • China Eastern introduced Shanghai-Melbourne three times per week seasonal services from December 2013 to February 2014. This is in addition to the daily scheduled seven per week services.
  • China Southern increased capacity on its Guangzhou service to 14 per week during the peak summer season.
  • Air New Zealand increased capacity on its services to Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown.
  • Philippines Airlines introduced direct services to Manila three times a week replacing services that triangulated via Sydney.
  • Korean Air ceased its  three per week Melbourne- Seoul services

International seat capacity increased by 705, 890 seats, an increase of 7.4 per cent.

International passenger growth for the 2013 calendar year by passport holder:

North Asia (%)* South East Asia (%)* Europe (%)* Other (%)*
Taiwan 23.9 Singapore 16.6 Italy 11.8 Fiji 7.3
Hong Kong 15.1 Malaysia 13.3 France 10.8 Australia 6.5
China 13.4 Vietnam 10.8 UK 9.0 NZ 5.2
Japan 8.5 Philippines 8.3 Germany 8.0 USA 2.3



*annual percentage growth compared to 2012

Domestic review
Domestic passengers increased by 3 per cent compared to 2012, taking total domestic passengers to 23,051,421 for 2013.

Domestic airline service developments in 2013 included:

  • Qantas increased capacity on a number of key routes including Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, and Launceston.
  • Virgin Australia increased capacity on services to Perth, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Canberra, and Launceston by adding services and upgrading to wide body aircraft.
  • Jetstar increased capacity on services to key leisure destinations including the Gold Coast and Cairns as well as added services to capital city routes including Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, and Launceston.
  • Tiger Airways gradually grew its Melbourne network throughout the year to 10 destinations, adding Alice Springs and Sunshine Coast to services to Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast, Hobart, Mackay, Perth, and Sydney.

Domestic seat capacity increased by 901,527 seats, an increase of 3 per cent compared to 2012.

In September 2013, Melbourne Airport successfully raised €550 million (A$785 million) in the European bond market. This transaction was Melbourne Airport's first in this market and was heavily oversubscribed. The bonds were issued to 145 investors and mature in September 2023.

Funds from the issuance were used to repay outstanding bank debt and provide additional liquidity. The transaction reaffirms the market’s confidence in the management of Melbourne Airport and extends the maturity profile of the business aligned with the long term nature of the business and assets.

Melbourne Airport is rated A- and A3 by Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investor Services respectively.

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