Jun 1, 2011

Australia’s domestic aviation industry grows strongly

Australia’s domestic aviation industry grows strongly

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

1 June 2011

Last year Australia’s domestic airports were the busiest they had ever been, with almost 600,000 flights carrying a record 53.97 million passengers criss-crossing the skies over our vast island continent.

According to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), domestic passenger numbers rose 7 per cent in 2010 after recording almost no growth during the previous twelve months.

The strong growth in domestic travel was in part the product of the continuing confidence and strength in our economy flowing from the Stimulus Plan we put in place during the worst global downturn in generations – a period in which more than 50 overseas airlines went out of business altogether.

Over the 12 months to 31 December 2010, the fastest growth occurred on routes between:

  • Gold Coast – Newcastle, up 26 per cent;
  • Darwin – Melbourne, up 19.8 per cent;
  • Cairns – Melbourne, up 15.7 per cent;
  • Karratha – Perth, up 13.3 per cent; and
  • Adelaide – Brisbane, up 12.6 per cent.

The five busiest routes in 2010 were:

  • Melbourne – Sydney with 7.9 million passengers;
  • Brisbane – Sydney with 4.4 million passengers;
  • Brisbane – Melbourne with 3 million passengers;
  • Gold Coast – Sydney with 2.4 million passengers; and
  • Adelaide – Melbourne with 2.3 million passengers.

Amongst the nation’s ten biggest domestic airports, the Gold Coast recorded the fastest growth in the number of passengers transiting through it, up 10.5 per cent on the year before to more than 4.7 million.

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

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

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