Melbourne Airport eyes full international recovery

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

Melbourne Airport is on track to become the first Australian airport to exceed pre-pandemic levels of international capacity, with airlines set to add thousands of extra seats.

Singapore Airlines is gearing up to elevate its Melbourne service to unprecedented heights, operating five flights daily—the airline’s highest year-round frequency at any Australian port.

This significant increase in capacity supports Melbourne’s burgeoning appeal as an international hub and a primary gateway for Australia.

Air India: Direct Flights to Mumbai

December will bring another aviation milestone as Air India inaugurates direct flights to Mumbai from Melbourne Airport. This historic development not only enhances connectivity but also marks a positive turn for the aviation sector.

Air India’s decision further underscores the confidence in Melbourne Airport’s rebound and its strategic importance in the global air travel network.


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Melbourne Airport signage.
Photo Credit: Melbourne Airport

Aircalin Returns and Vietjet Expands

Adding to the momentum, Aircalin is set to make a return from Noumea, contributing to the diversity of destinations accessible from Melbourne.

Meanwhile, Vietjet is amplifying its services to Ho Chi Minh City, reinforcing Melbourne Airport’s commitment to expanding its international reach.

These strategic moves highlight the airport’s dedication to providing travelers with an array of options and seamless connectivity.

Batik Air: Direct A330 Services to Kuala Lumpur

In a bold move, Batik Air is set to launch direct Airbus A330 flights to Kuala Lumpur, further diversifying Melbourne Airport’s international routes.

This development not only opens up new avenues for travelers but also positions Melbourne as a key player in fostering connectivity with major global cities.

Exceeding Pre-Pandemic Passenger Levels

The recent surge in passenger numbers underscores Melbourne Airport’s robust revival. In October, the airport processed a record-breaking total of 3,015,236 passengers, including a remarkable 47% year-on-year increase in international travelers.

Australians are seizing the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones abroad or embark on overseas adventures, contributing to the resurgence of international travel.

Jetstar, Virgin and Qantas aircraft parked at Melbourne Airport.
Philip Mallis from Melbourne, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Post-Pandemic Records Shattered

The October figures represent a monumental achievement, surpassing the pre-pandemic levels recorded in January 2020. Domestic travelers, totaling more than 2.1 million, also set a new post-pandemic record.

The overall passenger count reached an impressive 91% of the total recorded in October 2019, with international travelers reaching an encouraging 95% of pre-pandemic levels and domestic travel holding steady at 90%.

Lorie Argus, Melbourne Airport’s Chief Executive Officer, is optimistic about the future. She emphasizes that the coming month holds significance, anticipating a surpassing of international seat numbers above 2019 levels—a feat expected ahead of forecast and ahead of other Australian airports.

Argus attributes this success to Victoria’s compelling business proposition and the dedicated efforts of the airport’s team.

A Win for Consumers and the State Economy

Argus highlights the positive implications of increased capacity, noting that higher capacity often translates to lower prices for consumers.

With an average daily international flight contributing $154 million a year to the Victorian economy, this surge in aviation activity is not only advantageous for consumers but also positions Melbourne as an economic powerhouse in the aviation sector.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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