After nearly 1.3 million passengers traveled abroad in May, up 85% in only two months since March, Australia’s international aviation business is still showing indications of development.
Since Australia’s borders were fully reopened on February 21st, new statistics from the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) show that the number of international travelers has increased.
The amount is still a huge improvement over reports made earlier this year, even though it is still 59.6% below the 3.2 million passengers observed in May 2019. Approximately 430,000 planned foreign passengers traveled in February, and March showed an increase to slightly under 700,000.
With a seat utilization percentage of 74.3% in May 2022—just 4.3% below the levels experienced in May 2019—the overall proportion of seats used is likewise almost back to pre-pandemic levels.
This should be viewed with caution, though, as there were only 1.75 million seats made available on foreign flights in May 2022, a 58 percent decline from the seats offered in the same month in 2019.
Along with a growth in international travelers, the total number of passengers has been rising year-round. Just over 5 million passengers traveled through airports worldwide by the end of May 2022, a rise of 2 million since the end of February.
During this time, domestic flight numbers have also climbed, though not by as much as those seen in international numbers. 4.66 million passengers traveled on domestic lines in the month of May, an increase of roughly 700,000.
The figures, while encouraging, nevertheless fall short of pre-pandemic levels by roughly 500,000, with 5.13 million people traveling in May 2019.
Unsurprisingly, Melbourne to Sydney continues to be Australia’s busiest aviation route. With 1.84 million passengers in May, Sydney Airport overtook Melbourne Airport to recover its pre-pandemic status as the nation’s busiest airport.
Melbourne airport outperformed Sydney airport during the epidemic, and even as recently as March of this year, Melbourne airport saw more travelers.
With 16.9% of all passengers carried, Singapore Airlines has held onto first place in terms of passenger numbers during the entire month of May.
However, the airline was marginally ahead of Qantas, which carried 16.8% of all passengers during the month of May. Emirates with 10.5 percent behind the other two airlines somewhat.
Singapore Airlines continues to be the top passenger airline, although the distance between it and its rivals has closed since the beginning of the year. As rival airlines expand their capacity, the airline’s market share has decreased from 20.5 percent in February to 18.9 percent in March.
The designated airlines of Australia are still having trouble relative to their pre-pandemic levels; in May, Qantas Airways, Jetstar, and Virgin together carried 26.7% of all passengers, down from 33.87% in May 2019 and 29.3% in May 2021.