Australia grows in popularity


International aviation traffic to Australia is booming with a 75 per cent jump in international passengers travelling through Australia over the past decade, according to statistics released today by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE).

Three and a half million passengers travelled to and from Australia in January 2016, which is an increase of eight per cent on January figures last year, and a leap from two million travellers in January 2006, confirming Australia is a growing business and tourism destination.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the Australian Government is committed to supporting growth in aviation capacity as demand for international flights continues to increase.

“The Australian Government is looking to the future to ensure Australia is internationally competitive and can cater for the growing demands on our international airports,” Mr Chester said.

“We are working to ensure international airports are created in locations where they are needed most, providing international visitors with gateways into Australia and Australians with easy access to international markets and destinations.”

According to the BITRE report, International Airline Activity January 2016, Sydney remains the dominant international gateway with 41 per cent of all international passengers followed by Melbourne with 25 per cent, Brisbane with 14 per cent and Perth with 12 per cent.

“Over 40 per cent of all international passengers in Australia are travelling through Sydney Airport. The proposed Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek will increase aviation capacity across the Sydney basin while creating thousands of jobs and reducing travel times for the Western Sydney community,” Mr Chester said.

“In addition, we will work with airports on approving Master Plans to ensure they can deliver the best possible experience for travellers. The Government approved a range of Master Plans in 2015 including those for Perth and Adelaide airports.”

Minster for Tourism and International Education Richard Colbeck said key tourism initativies are helping to ensure visitor growth.

“The Australian Government has recently liberalised aviation access arrangements with Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines and Qatar, ensuring connectivity with important tourism markets can continue to grow,” Senator Colbeck said.

“We have also expanded online visa lodgements, visa validity extensions for China and Indonesia, additional visa application centres offshore, trials of foreign language visa submissions and extended SmartGate facilities.

“Tourism is one of five key economic super-growth sectors for the next decade and all of these initiatives are helping ensure we capitalise on this growth.”

The BITRE report also showed the share of passenger traffic accounted for by Australian-designated airlines – Qantas Airways, Jetstar and Virgin Australia – increased from around 30 per cent in January 2015 to 32.5 per cent in January 2016.

Low Cost Carriers — AirAsia X, Cebu Pacific Air, Indonesia AirAsia, Indonesia AirAsia Extra, Jetstar, Jetstar Asia and Scoot — accounted for 18 per cent of total international passenger traffic in January 2016.

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