Daily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation Contributor

Looking at the arrival and departure boards at any of our international airports it’s clear to see that Asian destinations, and Asian carriers (including some new carriers) tend to dominate. In fact, the corridor northwards to the cities of Asia now accounts for more than half the movement of international passengers into and out of Australia, up from one third in 1990.

With that shift has come a change in the role of each of our airports. When Sydney accounted for over 50% of our Asian passengers 20 years ago it was our dominant gateway (remember when you had to fly to Sydney to make an international connection?). Today the traffic is more dispersed. Melbourne has been a major winner in this dispersal. Last year’s figures show Melbourne Airport’s share of passenger traffic to Asia almost doubled since 2000 to 30%, while Sydney’s share seems to have stabilised at around 35%. Brisbane and Perth handle around 15% each.

The new pattern reflects in part a shift in the airline industry away from the once-dominant 747 to mid–sized long-haul aircraft (such as the Boeing 777 and the Airbus 330). These aircraft are ideally suited to the distances between Australian and Asian cities.

In addition, their smaller size means they suit smaller city markets. Inter-city links (like say Melbourne-Ho Chi Minh City) may not have enough passengers to fill a daily 747 service, but can be served by these newer, smaller aircraft. Melbourne, in particular, has benefited from this new arrangement.

It now has regular links to a wide array of cities in Asia. Analysis carried out elsewhere in the world has shown this is a common outcome, with many second-ranked gateway cities like Melbourne feeling positive effects associated with air services supplied by a new generation of aircraft.

Of course the airlines will not fly to Melbourne without a market to be served. Markets for air overseas travel come from three important areas - business links, tourists, and travellers making family connections. Research shows that business travel from a city is linked to its employment in professional services, and also reflects the city’s international trade links.

Tourism numbers reflect the local attractions and promotions while international migrant communities are linked to what is called “visiting friend and relations” travel. In Australia international students add to the travel, not only when they arrive and maybe depart on completion of a course, but as they make annual return trips home; they may also generate family visits.

image SydneyAirport David Gray/Reuters

In the past decade, Melbourne appears to be growing in many of these areas relative to Sydney. Gains in the number of international migrants were substantial as seen in a 92% increase in the annual flow between 2000 and 2013 in Melbourne compared to just 13% in Sydney. At the same time the growth in the numbers of tourists spending longer in Victoria almost doubled over the period, while trade flows and student numbers remain high and growing.

Importantly, Melbourne’s faster population growth has not only produced more people who might plan to fly but migration means more of these have international connections, as seen by the increased passenger throughput at Tullamarine.

This outcome also reflects Melbourne’s special advantage over Sydney of 24 hour operation. That provides airlines with much more flexibility in scheduling, something that can be an important consideration when departure times at Australian airports need to fit in with arrival slots in crowded airports in Asia. Hence night-time and early morning arrivals and departures are not uncommon. To maintain this advantage, it will be important to continue these curfew free arrangements, currently cemented in place with land use zoning regulations.

The economic and social changes in Melbourne, allied to the shifts in the operations of the airline industry, have allowed it to develop a set of frequent connections to a steadily expanding array of important Asian cities. In fact Asian connections account for almost 60% of its international passenger movement. Surprisingly, connections to Seoul and Tokyo remain under developed. However, Melbourne has high shares of Australia’s traffic to Ho Chi Minh City, New Delhi, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and the nation’s only services to Chengdu and Bandar Seri Begawan.

As Australia’s links to Asia continue to increase, boosted by a trend that has taken China to second rank as a source of inbound passengers to this country in the space of a few years, Melbourne Airport’s Asian focus will prove to be an important asset.

Authors: The Conversation Contributor

Read more http://theconversation.com/melbourne-airport-outpacing-sydney-in-aviations-asian-century-53491

Writers Wanted

Physical Therapist Talks About This New Massage Gun On The Block - The HYDRAGUN


Too much information: the COVID work revolution has increased digital overload


Ammonite: the remarkable real science of Mary Anning and her fossils


The Conversation


Prime Minister's Remarks to Joint Party Room

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it is great to be back in the party room, the joint party room. It’s great to have everybody back here. It’s great to officially welcome Garth who joins us. Welcome, Garth...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Business News

Getting Ready to Code? These Popular and Easy Programming Languages Can Get You Started

According to HOLP (History Encyclopedia of Programing Languages), there are more than 8,000 programming languages, some dating as far back as the 18th century. Although there might be as many pr...

News Co - avatar News Co

Avoid These Mistakes When Changing up Your Executive Career

Switching up industries is a valid move at any stage in your career, even if you’re an executive. Doing so at this stage can be a lot more intimidating, however, and it can be quite difficult know...

News Co - avatar News Co

4 Costly Mistake To Avoid When Subdividing Your Property

As a property developer or landowner, the first step in developing your land is subdividing it. You subdivide the property into several lots that you either rent, sell or award to shareholders. ...

News Co - avatar News Co

News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion