May 27, 2011

Australia continues to outperform rest of the world

Australia continues to outperform rest of the world

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

27 May 2011

Last year our international airports were the busiest they had ever been, with historically low fares and a strong domestic economy giving Australians the security to head overseas to see the world or visit family and friends.

According to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), international passenger numbers rose 9.8 per cent in 2010 to a record 26.8 million, with a growing proportion of them – almost one in five – choosing to fly with one of the low cost carriers.

By comparison, growth globally was 8.8 per cent while in Northern America and Europe it was just 6.2 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.

During 2010 the fastest growth occurred on routes between:

  • Guangzhou and Sydney – up 90.3 per cent;
  • Denpasar and Perth – up 57.4 per cent;
  • Kuala Lumpur and the Gold Coast – up 50.7 per cent;
  • Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne – up 41.5 per cent;
  • Nadi and Sydney – up 38.6 per cent.

Amongst Australia’s 11 international airports, the Gold Coast (up 23.6 per cent) and Cairns (up 22.5 per cent) experienced the largest growth in traffic in the 12 months to 31 December 2010.

The growing popularity of air travel amongst Australians during what was the worst global recession since 1929 is not only a testament to the resilience of the Australian aviation industry; it was also a product of our Economic Stimulus Plan and its success at sustaining strong domestic consumer confidence.

Sustaining this growth in the years ahead is at the heart of the nation’s first ever Aviation White Paper published by the Government in December 2009 to give airlines and airport operators the certainty to plan and invest for the long term.

As residents of a vast island continent located in a remote part of the world, we rely heavily on our airports to not only keep us connected to each other but also with the rest world. Indeed they are already engines of economic growth, supporting more than 50,000 jobs and contributing $4.9 billion a year to national income.

A full copy of the latest statistics can be downloaded from: www.bitre.gov.au.