People Queue At Melbourne Airport

As July school holidays approach, airports around Australia are preparing for a travelling boom and passengers are encouraged to plan ahead and arrive early for flights.

Airports around the country are seeing high numbers for both international and domestic travellers, with forecasts predicting millions of flyers to pass through Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane Airports.

Despite staff shortages nationwide, airports have made plans to meet the record-high numbers.

Brisbane Airport boosts capacity for passenger boom

Brisbane Airport has boosted capacity as passenger numbers hit fresh records with Queensland on track for a bumper school holiday period.

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the International Terminal will tomorrow see more than 9,000 passengers on the move. 

This is forecast to rise to 10,000 during July 2022, as airlines resume Brisbane routes, and other new services begin. This is approximately 45 per cent to 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. 

Services to New Zealand, Fiji, Bali and Europe are particularly full.

Domestic travel is also booming with Brisbane Airport seeing peak days of 55,000 travellers across July 2022, which is approximately 95 per cent of pre-COVID levels (July 2019.)

Key destinations that have more seats than pre-Covid are Brisbane-Hamilton Island, Brisbane-Hobart and Brisbane-Launceston.

Domestic passengers are advised to plan ahead to ensure smooth travelling.

Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) Head of Public Affairs, Stephen Beckett, says it is great for Queensland to see so many people on the move.

“We are incredibly excited to see the terminals filling up and we have boosted the number of staff during peak times. We encourage people to arrive at least 90-minutes prior to domestic flight for a stress-free departure,” Mr Beckett said.

“For international departures, we recommend arriving three hours before your flight. 

“The International Terminal will set a new post-pandemic record on Friday with 9,000 travellers which is fantastic as 75 per cent of international visitors to Queensland arrive via Brisbane Airport.”

Melbourne Airport urges passengers to arrive early for flights

Passengers travelling through Melbourne Airport over the June-July school holidays should plan to arrive one to two hours before a domestic flight and two to three hours before an international flight, with the airport expecting its busiest days since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 2.1 million people are predicted to pass through Melbourne Airport’s terminals between June 24 and July 17, with airlines forecasting 1.6 million domestic travellers and 447,000 international passengers.

That figure is significantly higher than the more than 1.7 million passengers processed over the three-week Easter holiday period, with international traveller numbers up 77 per cent.

Melbourne Airport’s Appointed CEO, Lorie Argus, said departing passengers should plan to leave plenty of time before their flight to avoid unnecessary stress.

“We encourage people to allow time to get to the airport, check in and go through security, as there may be queues, particularly at peak travel times,” Ms Argus said.

“Equally, we’d ask people to not arrive too early, because some airlines don’t open check-in until two hours before a domestic departure and three hours prior to an international flight.

“The aviation industry is still working to rebuild our workforce following the pandemic, and staffing remains an issue for some operators, particularly in baggage and ground handling.

“During this busy period, we ask people to be respectful of one another and our staff as we work to get you where you need to be as quickly and safely as possible.”

Sydney to see over two million passengers through airport

2.1 million passengers are expected to take flight during July school holidays, according to Sydney Airport forecasts.

This includes more than 1.5 million domestic passengers and 560,000 international passengers.

In May 2022, total passenger traffic recovered to 69 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

By contrast, 1.8 million passengers came through Sydney Airport during the equivalent 21-day school holiday period in April.

Sydney Airport CEO, Geoff Culbert, said the forecast shows the July school holidays are going to be even busier than what the airport saw in April.

“It’s terrific to see the ongoing demand for air travel but we won’t sugar-coat the fact that the terminals will be busy during the school holidays, and there will be queues,” Mr Culbert said.

“We are doing everything we can to get people on their way, including bringing an additional 60 customer service staff into the terminals every day to help manage queues and bring passengers forward in order of flight priority.

“The root cause of these challenges is that every business at the airport is rebuilding its workforce and doing it in the tightest jobs market in nearly half a century.

“We want to thank passengers in advance for their patience and reassure them that if they get to the airport at the advised time, we will be doing our utmost to get everyone on their flight.”

“The May passenger traffic data confirms the ongoing recovery of Australian aviation, which is a relief to everyone in the industry.

“Our continued focus will be on meeting this demand and getting passengers on their way safely.”

Delays curbed at Brisbane Airport despite record numbers 

Domestic travellers at Brisbane Airport (BNE) have followed suggestions to ensure smooth flight boarding with around 55,000 people travelling through the terminal without significant delay on 24 June.  

While the Domestic Terminal has been busy, passengers are passing smoothly through bag drop and security scanning to board full flights, particularly to Queensland’s regions.

Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) Head of Public Affairs, Stephen Becket, said, “We are seeing strong demand for destinations like Mackay, Cairns and Townsville which is great news for communities relying on tourism, as Aussies seek a dose of winter sun.

“Brisbane Airport and our airline partners have boosted capacity as passenger numbers hit fresh records with Queensland on track for a bumper school holiday period.”

More than 46,000 passengers are expected to pass through the Domestic Terminal today as families continue to embark on school holidays.

BNE may also see International Terminal numbers get close to 10,000 for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, as airline partners continue to increase the number of flights in and out of BNE.

On 27 June, more than 48,000 people will transit through the Domestic Terminal as leisure travellers are joined by thousands of FIFO workers heading for a shift-change in Queensland’s resources sector.

While this passenger total is below the number BNE saw on Friday, passengers are advised to plan to ensure smooth travelling by arriving at the Domestic Terminal at least 90 minutes prior to departure.

Passengers travelling through the International Terminal are advised to arrive three hours before their flight.

Mr Beckett said it is clear passenger numbers are growing, reviving one of the state’s critical industries.

“The tourism industry directly and indirectly employs one in 11 Queenslanders. We know when our terminals are busy, tourism businesses are doing well and with so many of them family owned, that’s great news for Queensland,” Mr Becket said.

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