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Serving Australia’s biggest city: Melbourne Airport plans for future growth

Melbourne Airport's Trevor Town-Campbell and Tim Pedder look to expand connectivity to North America
Melbourne Airport’s Trevor Town-Campbell and Tim Pedder look to expand connectivity to Australia’s largest city

Melbourne overtook Sydney to become Australia’s largest city last year, with its airport preparing to accommodate the projected growth in passengers in the coming years.

Over the past few months, Melbourne Airport welcomed a string of new routes, with its international capacity now outstripping pre-pandemic levels. In March, Turkish Airlines introduced services to Melbourne, selecting the city as its entry point into Australia. Other additions have included VietJet from Hanoi, Asiana from Seoul, and additional frequencies by LATAM from Santiago.

There is further growth planned in the coming weeks and months. Beijing Capital Airlines will inaugurate operations to Hangzhou, while China Eastern Airlines will add service to Nanjing. On the domestic front, the fast-growing Rex has selected Melbourne for the launch of its East to West coast flights to Perth.

Speaking to Air Service One at the 154th IATA Slot Conference in Bogota, Trevor Town-Campbell, Vice President for Airlines Business Development – Americas, Pacific & EMEA, said: “It has been a good growth trajectory for us. Looking beyond that, Melbourne is now the largest city in Australia, and we are looking at how to accommodate that additional capacity. We have applied to the federal government for our additional third runway, which is now under review.”

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In addition to serving the continent’s most populous city, Melbourne Airport is also enticing airlines by being curfew-free, giving carriers operational flexibility that others in Australia don’t have. In addition, it boasts the shortest minimum connecting times and facilitates 40% of the country’s airfreight exports.

Looking ahead, the airport plans to expand connectivity with North America. Town-Campbell explains: “That is one market that we have not reached pre-Covid capacity. We are working on non-stop flights to Canada, as well as additional frequencies and capacity from the US. The Americas is definitely a key one for us.”

IATA Slot Conference 155