Melbourne Airport has roared into 2024, welcoming the highest number of passengers since January 2020.
More than 3,136,944 people passed through the airport in the first month of the year, a 16 per cent increase on January 2023.
International passengers in January totalled 1,086,084, a 32 per cent increase on the same month in 2023, while 2,050,089 domestic passengers flew via Melbourne Airport, up 8.5 per cent.
In total, more than six million people passed through Melbourne Airport’s in December and January.
Twelve months since the resumption of service to mainland China, airlines continue to show confidence in the Victorian market, with Xiamen Airlines and Sichuan Airlines increasing capacity by 61 per cent and 43 per cent respectively compared to pre-pandemic levels.
As Melbourne Airport celebrates Chinese Lunar New Year, chief of aviation Jim Parashos revealed that there has been an increase in Victorian produce being exported to China ahead of the annual celebration.
“Victoria is the largest food and fibre exporter in Australia, and China is our most valuable export market, representing some $4.7 billion,” he said.
“While Chinese carriers transport hundreds of thousands of passengers through Melbourne Airport each year, they’re also carrying Victorian produce back to China in the bellies of planes.
“One of our airlines has increased the amount of lobster it is carrying this week by 233 per cent, while salmon has jumped from the usual 16 tonnes to 25 tonnes.
“Other products such as abalone, cherries and nectarines – all grown right here in Victoria – will be on Chinese tables as they celebrate Lunar New Year this year.”
Melbourne Airport is launching a WeChat interface for Chinese visitors, providing advice and inspiration for what to do in Melbourne and Victoria, as well as helpful information videos about the airport journey.