Australian air travel is taking off

Uluru. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Excuse the pun, but Australian air travel is soaring.

According to data released by Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) earlier today, a record 3.55 million people travelled to and from Australia in January this year, up an impressive 8.1% on 12 months earlier.

“In January, 1.91 million people came into Australia on international airlines with 1.64 million flying out of the country,” said Craig James, chief economist at Commsec.

As the chart from Commsec reveals below, the record increase in January left international air passenger movements over the past 12 months at more than 35 million.


According to BITRE, Qantas carried 15.9% of all passengers over the 12 month period, topping the list for market share. Emirates, Jetstar — Qantas’s low-cost offshoot — and Singapore Airlines were the next three in order.

The chart below, provided by the BITRE, reveals the breakdown by market share.


Partially as a consequence of the increase in international passenger numbers, James notes that travel on domestic and regional routes rose by 3.5% to 9.6 million in January.

“Annual growth of international passenger movements is the strongest in 10 months while domestic travel is growing at the fastest rate in two years,” says James.