Australian domestic traffic defies global trends and continues to prosper; Melbourne – Gold Coast up 40%; Tiger picks ADL as 2nd base

Unlike many other domestic markets around the globe, Australia’s domestic traffic has continued to show impressive growth in 2008 thanks to the entry into the market last November of Tiger Airways.

Chart: Australian Domestic Air Traffic Growth
Source: BITRE

In the second quarter of 2008 passenger growth averaged just under 8%, higher than in either of the two previous years. However, traffic growth has been achieved at the expense of load factor which was down around two percentage points in the second quarter to 75%. June’s growth was particularly impressive as Qantas suffered some flight disruptions due to a strike by engineers.

Melbourne – Gold Coast is fastest growing major route

Comparison of year-on-year figures for the busiest domestic routes in Australia reveals that in the first half of 2008 the route between Melbourne and the Gold Coast has been growing fastest, with average monthly growth of around 40%.

Chart: Top Australian domestic routes
Source: BITRE

Traffic between Melbourne and Perth is up around 18%, while Melbourne to Adelaide demand is up over 12%. Tiger Airways competes against Qantas/Jetstar and Virgin Blue on all three of these routes.

New Tiger Airways base at Adelaide from March 2009

Image: Adelaide fares from $19.95 one-wayTiger Airways recently announced that Adelaide would become its second Australian base from 1 March 2009. New routes to Alice Springs (thrice weekly), Gold Coast (daily), Hobart (four times weekly) and Perth (daily) will be launched using two new A319s.

According to BITRE data Adelaide airport handled 6.36 million passengers in 2007 ranking it fifth behind Sydney (31.85 million), Melbourne (22.75), Brisbane (17.89) and Perth (8.48). Australia’s airports handled a total of 116 million passengers in 2007.


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