It's getting more crowded on flights between Sydney and Melbourne

Welcome to Melbourne. Photo: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

Australia’s busiest airline route, Sydney-Melbourne, just got a little bit busier.

According to Commsec, citing data released by Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) today, a record 9.13 million passengers flew between Australia’s two largest cities in the 12 months to January, the highest number ever recorded.

Here, look.

Source: Commsec

And with passenger numbers continuing to swell even as flight numbers flattened out, the load factor for the route — the percentage of seats occupied — rose to 84.8% over the year, again the highest level ever recorded.

Source: Commsec

The Sydney to Melbourne route is the second busiest on the planet in terms of total flights, only surpassed by the Seoul to Jeju route in South Korea.

From a national perspective, 5.08 million passengers were carried on regular domestic flights in January, up 2.1% on a year earlier. The average load factor for all regular domestic flights stood at 79.4% during the month, near the highest level in seven years.

“In this environment it’s no surprise that major domestic airlines Qantas and Virgin Australia posted stellar earnings results in the latest reporting season,” said Ryan Felsman, Senior Economist at Commsec.

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