Australian domestic air travel up 6.5% in 2010; Tiger enters Sydney – Brisbane market this week; Qantas to Texas in May
The recent floods and high winds that have battered Australia’s east coast are likely to have had an impact on air travel demand to various cities – even though Brisbane Airport remained open throughout the crisis – but in the first 11 months of 2010, domestic air travel increased by 6.5% to just over 49 million passengers. This is in line with domestic traffic growth rates reported in 2006, 2007 and 2008 before traffic stagnated in 2009. Meanwhile, international traffic has been growing at more than 10% for much of the year, the dip in April and May corresponding to the European volcanic ash incident. In October and November, international traffic grew less quickly than domestic traffic for only the second and third time in the last 18 months.
This week sees Australia’s lowest-cost airline Tiger Airways launch another new service, this time between Sydney and Brisbane, the country’s second-busiest domestic route with 4.4 million annual passengers. Tiger will launch with just three daily flights while Qantas operates 138 weekly flights, Virgin Blue 126 and Jetstar 25. Yesterday also saw the launch of twice-weekly flights between Brisbane and Melbourne Avalon and from 27 March, the airline will also operate daily flights between Sydney and the Gold Coast.
Top 10 international airlines during 2010
Figures from the Australian government show that during the last year, Qantas has maintained its share of the international passenger market at between 18% and 20%. For much of the year, Singapore Airlines was ranked second, except for in August when Jetstar jumped into the runner-up position.
During the summer, V Australia briefly broke into the top 10 of international airlines, but has since fallen back out of the rankings. The airline is due to start flying between Sydney and Abu Dhabi from the end of February. Qantas, meanwhile, will begin non-stop flights to Dallas/Fort Worth in Texas, the hub of its fellow oneworld member American Airlines, from mid-May.