Chapter 8


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This chapter provides data on airline activity, aircraft numbers, on time performance and airfare price indexes. Information is provided for both international and domestic airlines, as well as a breakdown of airport traffic by state.

  • 595 118 Australian domestic flights occurred in 2022-23. As with internal activity, the full recovery of the aviation industry to pre COVID levels has not yet occurred. At the height of the pandemic, domestic flights fell to 324 616, fewer than flight numbers in 1977-78.
  • 11 020 Piston aircraft were registered in 31 December 2022 which is 1 011 more than the year before. This is the greatest increase recorded.  The number of helicopters registered fell from 2 467 to 2 351 over the same period.
  • Sydney had the most aircraft movements with 282 251 in 2022-23. 
  • International flights from Australia are steadily recovering from the impacts of COVID. In 2022‑23 there were 150 684 flights, up from only 45 172 two years earlier.

Figure 1  Australia’ top 40 airports in 2022-23, passengers

Figure 1 Australia's top 40 airports in 2022-23, passengers

Since 2019-20, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have remained the airports which experienced the most activity, with some regional airports outside of the top 30 entering and exiting the list.

Figure 2  International and domestic airline revenue passengers

Figure 2 International and Domestic airline revenue passengers

Since 1977-78, the number of fare-paying passengers uplifted and discharged in Australia was steadily increasing both domestically and internationally, before a sharp drop beginning in 2019-20. 2021-22 shows some evidence of an improvement as border restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic ease.

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