This week the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Mr Anthony Albanese, released the  Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics' (BITRE) annual reports on international and domestic airline activity. The report shows another record year for Australian aviation with Australian and international airlines flying more than 82 million passengers last year.

The reports show that international passenger numbers rose 5 per cent in 2011, to more than 28 million. This puts Australia well above the Asia Pacific average of 4.3 per cent growth for last year.  Although Sydney remains the busiest airport for international passengers, its growth was the slowest among Australian capital cities. Melbourne and Adelaide's international passengers grew 9.9 and 9.5 per cent respectively over 12 month—nearly four times faster than Sydney (2.5 per cent).

The report shows domestic passenger numbers grew by 0.6 per cent to over 54 million in 2011. Mr Albanese atributes much of this growth came from Australian regional centres and especially those involved in the mining boom. For example, Newcastle to Melbourne was up nearly 16 per cent, Brisbane—Mackay was up almost 14 per cent and Perth—Port Hedland grew more than 12 per cent. 

The report also showed that Sydney was responsible for the two busiest domestic routes in the country. One out of every seven passengers nationally flew between Sydney and Melbourne and one out of 12 passengers flew between Brisbane and Sydney.

Mr Albanese states flying is today five times more affordable than it was 20 years ago, thanks to greater competition and the rise of low-cost airlines.

BITRE's International and Domestic reports attached or can be downloaded from for copy of the media release.

pdf BITRE_Domestic_Airline_Activity_Annual_2011

pdf BITRE_International_Airline_Activity_Annual_2011