There were 4.71 million passengers carried on Australian domestic airlines in March 2012, an increase of two per cent on March 2011. From March 2011 to March 2012 a total of 54.6 million passengers were carried on Australian domestic services including regional operators.

Further statistics demonstrate increasing demand for domestic services.  The industry benchmark Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK) preformed were 5.38 billion for March 2012, up 3.4 per cent compared with March 2011.  Capacity, measured by available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased four per cent to a total of 6.97 billion.  The number of aircraft trips increased 1.3 per cent, from 52 491in March 2011 to 53 178 in March 2012.

Melbourne – Sydney remained Australia’s busiest route with 694,105 passengers, an increase of 0.1 per cent compared with March 2011. It was followed by Brisbane – Sydney with 366,029 passengers (down 1.2 per cent) and Brisbane – Melbourne with 260,135 passengers (up 6.8 per cent).

The greatest percentage increase in passenger numbers, compared to March 2011, was on the Newman – Perth route (up 36.4 per cent). There also were large increases on a number of other routes, including Perth – Port Hedland (up 35.3 per cent), Brisbane – Mackay (up 16.9 per cent) and Brisbane – Proserpine (up 15.0 per cent).

In March 2012, Sydney remained Australia’s busiest domestic airport with 2.09 million passengers movements, followed by Melbourne with 1.87 million and Brisbane with 1.37 million.

On a negative side there was a decrease in cargo movements. Total cargo movements at Australian domestic airports were 40.2 thousand tonnes in March 2012, a decrease of 11.7 per cent compared to March 2011. Sydney was the busiest airport in terms of cargo movements (10.5 thousand tonnes, down 13.7 per cent compared to March 2011), followed by Melbourne (10.3 thousand tonnes, down 11.9 per cent) and Brisbane (6.5 thousand tonnes, down 13.7 per cent).