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International BNE services boost regional QLD growth in 2016

January 30, 2017 Airport No Comments Email Email

New airlines, direct services, the upgrading of aircraft and increased flights to/from several global destinations all contributed to a 5 per cent year on year growth in international passengers through Brisbane Airport (BNE) in 2016.

International passenger numbers grew by nearly 256,000 to more than 5.4 million travellers in 2016.

Domestic passenger volumes also increased by 1.7 per cent to more than 17.2 million, or 281,000+ more travellers than 2015. In total, BNE’s passenger numbers – domestic and international – grew by 2.4 per cent to nearly 22.7 million for the year.

While business travel ensured passenger numbers between capital cities was strong, intrastate leisure routes appear to have benefitted from increased international services into BNE.

The Brisbane – Cairns route achieved the strongest intrastate passenger growth (3 per cent), the third strongest passenger growth amongst all domestic routes, and the highest average load factor of any major route in BNE’s network (83 per cent).

Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and Managing Director, said it is no coincidence that Brisbane Airport’s success in attracting new and additional international airline services directly benefitted intrastate ports.

“Tourism Research Australia statistics show that international passengers who arrive in Australia through Brisbane Airport stay far longer in Queensland than if they came in through any other airport in Australia.

“When they stay longer they travel further throughout Queensland – to Cairns and the Tropical North, to the Gold Coast, to the Whitsundays and up the road to the Sunshine Coast.

“We are absolutely committed to working with our regional counterparts to get the best connectivity for Queensland and share the benefits of the hard work being done to build Brisbane as the gateway to Australia,” Ms Alroe said.

Highlights for 2016 include:

  • Air Canada launching daily BNE-Vancouver services
  • China Eastern launching four times weekly BNE-Shanghai services
  • Qantas commencing three times weekly (now daily) BNE-Christchurch and daily Port Moresby services.
  • Singapore Airlines increasing BNE-Singapore frequency to 24 weekly
  • Philippine Airlines increasing frequency on Manila-Darwin-BNE route
  • China Airlines increasing BNE-Taipei frequency from three to four weekly
  • EVA Air increasing BNE-Taipei frequency from two to five weekly
  • Etihad Airways upgrading to B789 aircraft
  • Fly Corporate launching services between BNE and Coffs Harbour, Armidale, Narrabri, Moree and Tamworth
  • Jetgo launching BNE-Albury services

Major events hosted in Brisbane and Queensland including The Brisbane International Tennis, World Science Festival, CMC Rocks QLD Country Music Festival, World Outrigging Championships, and the Wallabies vs South Africa match also contributed to increased passengers through BNE.

BAC/BNE’s other notable achievements for 2016 include:

  • Best Airport (Australia/Pacific) 2016 Skytrax World Airport Awards
  • Top rated Australian airport for quality of service for 12 consecutive years by the ACCC
  • Ranked 4th in Best Airports in the World (servicing 2030 million passengers), and 17th in the Worlds Top 100 Airports list, up from 20/100 in 2015
  • Australasias Leading Airport in the 23rd World Travel Awards 2016
  • The release of BAC’s FY16 Sustainability Report, developed under the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Framework
  • Attaining Level 3 Optimisation under the Airport Carbon Accreditation program; and
  • Being the first airport in Australia to formally commit to celebrating and promoting the traditions, laws and customs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, with a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) officially endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.

International Review

BNE achieved 5 per cent year on year growth in international passengers, boosting traveller numbers by nearly 256,000 to more than 5.4 million travellers in 2016.

BNE started 2016 with 21 airlines operating internationally and finished with 23 with Air Canada’s launch in June 2016 and China Eastern launching year-round services in December 2016.

The launch of services to Vancouver and Shanghai boosted BNE’s international network to 28 by the end of 2016.

The busiest day of the year at the International Terminal was on Christmas Eve with 19,565 arrivals and departures in a 24 hour period.

Japan (+66 per cent) was joined by Canada (+49 per cent), Korea (+22 per cent), China (+4 per cent) and USA (+8 per cent) in the top five international growth markets*.

Domestic Review

Domestic passenger figures grew by 1.7 per cent to over 17.2 million, or 281,000+ more travellers than 2015.

In 2016, Fly Corporate launched five routes, increasing the number of domestic airlines at BNE from eight to nine.

With the launch of Jetgo services to/from Albury in June, BNE’s domestic network increased to 47 destinations.

The strongest intrastate passenger growth was on the Cairns city pair, which also ranked third amongst all domestic routes. Cairns services also achieved the highest load factor amongst the top 10 domestic city pairs.

NRL games held in Brisbane were a major contributor to travel to/from Townsville.

Capacity to/from intrastate ports continued to fall as airlines responded to mining industry fluctuation which led to demand from the FIFO (fly-in fly-out) segment declining.

September school holidays were a catalyst for travel with 62,649 passengers travelling on 16 September, making it the busiest day of the year at the Domestic Terminal.

Brisbane Airport Traffic performance 2016 calendar year

2015 2016 Year-on-year growth
International arrivals and departures 5,160,844 5,410,329 +4.8%
Transits, transfers (outbound) 236,325 192,047 -18.7%
Domestic-on-carriage 14,431 20,698 +43.4%
Total international passengers 5,175,275 5,431,027 +4.9%
Domestic arrivals and departures 16,977,088 17,258,469 +1.7%
Total passengers     +2.4%

The information contained in this document is for information purposes only. Brisbane Airport Corporation Pty Ltd (BAC) provides no warranty as to the content or accuracy of the information provided or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. BAC does not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of this document or for any loss of profit or other damages resulting from the use of this information.

In 2017, BNE looks forward to:

  • Strong international passenger growth driven by two recently launched carriers and routes: Air Canada and China Eastern.
  • Canada and USA market growth with Air Canada’s daily direct BNE-Vancouver service launch in June 2016, travel to/from Canada is expected to grow in popularity. The airline has also to-date proved a boost to USA visitor volumes.
  • Chinese visitor growth will strengthen as China Eastern Airlines commenced Shanghai-BNE services in December 2016. The market may also be further stimulated by the implementation of the Australia-China ‘Open Skies’ agreement, and the designation of 2017 as the Australia-China Year of Tourism.
  • Taiwanese market growth is anticipated thanks to China Airlines and EVA Air capacity increases in late 2016. Further growth in the Taiwanese visitor market could also be stimulated by the implementation of the Australia-Taiwan ‘Open Skies’ agreement.
  • Other capacity increases including Etihad’s new B789 configuration from 235 to 299 seats (since December 2016), Cathay Pacific up gauging its daily non-stop BNE-Hong Kong service to its brand new A350 in April 2017, and Singapore Airlines increasing from 24 to 28 weekly services in August 2017.
  • Major events in the Brisbane catchment area which are expected to boost international passenger traffic: Isagenix 2017 (conference) in March 2017, Ashes Series (cricket) and Bledisloe Cup (rugby) in November 2017.

“While business as usual continues at the terminals, our extensive $3.8 billion infrastructure program continues in 2017 with our International Terminal and apron expansion, Domestic Terminal northern apron expansion, a new Domestic Regional Satellite terminal and an upgraded Entry Control Point at the International Terminal, to name but a few projects,” Ms Alroe said.

“The jewel in our crown, Brisbane’s New Runway, is also entering its next exciting construction phase, so travellers can expect to see works commencing on site there, as well as new and improved facilities across the airport.

“Most of all, we look forward to continued collaboration with our airline, industry and business partners in growing Brisbane and Queensland’s profile as the most efficient and preferred gateway airport to Australia,” she said.

* January November, excluding passengers on board Norfolk Island services.

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