Domestic aviation activity


graph of annual domestic passengers

graph of monthly domestic passengers

There were 5.33 million passengers carried on Australian domestic commercial aviation (including charter operations) in December 2018, a decrease of 1.8 per cent on December 2017.

5.14 million passengers were carried on RPT flights in December 2018, a decrease of 2.0 per cent on December 2017. This was the first decrease in the number of RPT passengers since October 2015 (excluding the decrease recorded in February 2017, which was largely due to the 2016 leap year).

RPT revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) performed were 6.07 billion for the month, down 2.1 per cent compared with December 2017.

Capacity, measured by available seat kilometres (ASKs), decreased by 1.6 per cent compared with December 2017 to a total of 7.53 billion.

With RPT passenger traffic decreasing at a faster rate than capacity the industry wide load factor (RPKs/ASKs) decreased from 81.0 per cent in December 2017 to 80.6 per cent in December 2018.

For the month of December 2018, Melbourne – Sydney remained Australia’s busiest RPT route with    746 815 passengers, a decrease of 1.4 per cent compared with December 2017.

In December 2018, Sydney remained Australia’s busiest domestic airport with 2.32 million passenger movements, followed by Melbourne with 2.20 million passenger movements and Brisbane with 1.46 million passenger movements.

Total cargo movements at Australian airports on domestic RPT flights were 41.5 thousand tonnes in December 2018, a decrease of 2.2 per cent compared with December 2017.

In December 2018, there were 2.07 million domestic passenger movements through regional airports, 1.7 per cent lower than in December 2017.

Fixed-wing charter operators carried 186.8 thousand passengers in December 2018, an increase of 3.0 per cent on December 2017. Perth Airport accounted for 38.4 per cent of all charter passengers in Australia.



Summary of annual RPT activity
 YE Dec 2017YE Dec 2018Growth
Total passengers carried 59.97 million 61.08 million   1.9 %
Revenue passenger kilometres 70.01 billion 71.26 billion   1.8 %
Available seats 77.13 million 77.34 million   0.3 %
Available seat kilometres 88.19 billion 88.45 billion   0.3 %
Load factor 79.4 % 80.6 %   1.2*
Aircraft trips 638.2 (000s) 629.5 (000s) -1.3 %

*percentage point difference