Melbourne Airport: A Best Airport Award and More China Flights

A Virgin aircraft takes off from Melbourne Airport.
Photo Credit: Melbourne Airport

Melbourne Airport has achieved a notable feat, being crowned the Best Airport in Australia and the Pacific for the fourth time.

This prestigious recognition comes courtesy of the Skytrax World Airport Awards, the world’s largest passenger satisfaction survey encompassing over 550 airports.

Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus expressed her immense pride in the entire airport team’s dedication. “Our passengers are at the forefront of every decision we make,” she emphasized.

The past year has witnessed new developments at Melbourne Airport. New restaurants, retail outlets, and restrooms have enhanced the travel experience.

Additionally, ambitious plans for the future are underway, including a new runway, improved roads, and further terminal upgrades.

Melbourne Airport signage.
Photo Credit: Melbourne Airport

Bringing Melbourne’s Charm to the Airport

Melbourne Airport fosters a unique culture of passenger-centricity through its “Stepping Forward” program. This initiative empowers every employee, from CEOs to cleaners, to actively assist passengers and ensure a seamless travel journey.

Recognizing Melbourne’s reputation as one of the world’s most livable cities, the airport prioritizes reflecting that spirit.

The recent T1 square upgrade exemplifies this commitment, welcoming iconic Melbourne brands like Pope Joan and St Ali. After all, what’s a Melbourne experience without a great cup of coffee?

Investing in the Future

Melbourne Airport acknowledges the ongoing work needed to maintain its position as a favorite travel hub.

Billions are being invested in crucial infrastructure upgrades, ensuring a smooth journey for passengers even during the construction phase.

These projects are vital for the airport’s long-term growth alongside the city’s development.

Melbourne Airport extended its sincere gratitude to passengers whose votes made this award possible. The team is committed to exceeding expectations and remains dedicated to serving as the best airport in Australia and the Pacific.

Boosting China Market with New Hangzhou Service

Positive developments are on the horizon for Melbourne Airport’s Chinese market recovery. Beijing Capital Airlines will introduce new flights connecting Melbourne and Hangzhou starting June.

This service, operating three times a week with an Airbus A330, will complement the existing Qingdao route.

Hangzhou’s addition expands Melbourne’s non-stop destinations in mainland China to eight. These additional flights will significantly increase capacity, bringing China market travel back to nearly 91% of pre-pandemic levels.

While Melbourne Airport has set new international passenger records in February and March 2024, Chinese visitor numbers are still recovering, currently at 62% of pre-pandemic levels.

Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus anticipates the additional capacity to significantly benefit Victoria’s tourism, education, and agricultural sectors.

“Hangzhou, a vibrant city with a population double that of Melbourne and known as China’s tea capital, presents exciting opportunities,” she explained.

BriYYZ from Toronto, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Focus on Reviving Group Travel from China

The slow return of group travel continues to impact Chinese visitor numbers, despite Chinese travelers traditionally being high spenders in Australia.

“Chinese tourists contributed a substantial $5.8 billion to the Australian economy in 2023, but that figure remains at only 56% of their spending in 2019,” Ms. Argus highlighted.

Economic Impact of International Flights

“Studies indicate that an average daily international flight injects approximately $154 million into the Victorian economy,” Ms. Argus elaborated.

“These new flights will undoubtedly contribute to bustling restaurants, support local businesses, and connect Victorian farmers with millions of potential customers.”

China remains Victoria’s most important two-way trading partner, with Victorian goods valued at over $6 billion exported to China in the last financial year.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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