Year of the Dragon sees continued growth at Melbourne Airport

Aircraft parked at Melbourne Airport
Photo Credit: Melbourne Airport

Melbourne Airport has kicked off 2024 with a bang, witnessing a remarkable surge in passenger numbers, marking the highest influx since January 2020.

The statistics paint a promising picture, with more than 3,136,944 individuals traversing through the airport’s gates in the inaugural month of the year.

This result represents a notable 16% year-on-year escalation compared to January 2023.

January 2024 Melbourne Airport

The cumulative tally of over six million passengers traversing through Melbourne Airport during December and January exemplifies the airport’s pivotal role as a major transportation hub, not only domestically but also on the international stage.


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International Traffic

The international passenger count for January tallied an impressive 1,086,084, exhibiting a substantial 32% upswing from the corresponding month in 2023.

This surge reinforces Melbourne as a primary Australian gateway, and also as a global travel destination.

Domestic Travel

Simultaneously, the domestic sector witnessed robust growth, with 2,050,089 passengers opting to fly via Melbourne Airport, marking an 8.5% increase from the previous year.

This surge in domestic travel is indicative of the continued resilience and recovery of the local air travel market.

Confidence in Victorian Market

Amidst the celebratory atmosphere, Melbourne Airport’s Chief of Aviation, Jim Parashos, shared insights into the growing confidence of airlines in the Victorian market.

Notably, airlines such as Xiamen Airlines and Sichuan Airlines have substantially increased their capacity, signaling a resounding vote of confidence in the region’s economic resurgence.

Compared to pre-pandemic levels, Xiamen Airlines and Sichuan Airlines have boosted their capacity by 61% and 43%, respectively.

Exporting Victorian Produce

In tandem with the influx of passengers, there’s been a noteworthy uptick in the export of Victorian produce, particularly to China, ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities.

Victoria stands as the largest food and fibre exporter in Australia, with China emerging as its most lucrative export market, accounting for approximately $4.7 billion in trade.

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

Celebrating Lunar New Year

As Melbourne Airport joins in the festivities surrounding the Chinese Lunar New Year, it serves as a conduit for the exchange of culture and commerce.

Chief of Aviation, Jim Parashos, emphasized the symbiotic relationship between Chinese carriers and Victorian produce, highlighting the significant role airlines play in facilitating the export of local delicacies.

Notably, there has been a substantial increase in the transportation of lobster and salmon to China, underscoring the growing demand for Victorian gastronomic delights.

Enhancing Chinese Visitor Experience

In a bid to enhance the experience for Chinese visitors, Melbourne Airport is set to launch a WeChat interface, providing valuable insights and recommendations for exploring Melbourne and Victoria.

This initiative aims to bridge cultural gaps and foster greater engagement with Chinese travelers, offering them a seamless airport journey coupled with enriching experiences in the vibrant city of Melbourne.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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