Newcastle Airport has recorded its busiest January ever on record.
Passenger throughput for January 2017 at the state’s second busiest airport came in at 108,606 passengers. Newcastle Airport’s CEO, Dr Peter Cock, said this figure is a 12.7% increase on January last year.
“For an airport to have double-digit growth in this climate is almost unheard of; most airports are sitting at domestic growth of around 2-3%,” Peter said.
“As records continue to tumble month-on-month, our region is reaping the benefits. It’s becoming easier to connect to major ports for business, and easier to connect and spend time with loved ones.”
This coming Easter period, the current timetables are showing 15% more seats to and from Newcastle Airport when compared with the same time last year as airlines continue to respond to local demand.
The surge in passengers has led to Virgin Australia investing in more Newcastle-based staff to facilitate the start of overnighting aircraft at the port. Jetstar and QantasLink have also increased their capacity, while FlyPelican has grown and added Dubbo and Coffs Harbour to its network.
“By flying local, you’re spending more time at your destination, rather than wasting time on the road getting to the airport,” Peter said.
The January results follow a record year for Newcastle Airport in 2016 where another passenger record was set with more than 1.2 million passengers using the terminal during a calendar year. This represented annual growth of 5.5%.
“We’re continuing to work with the airlines and local businesses to deliver more frequency on existing routes, pitch for new destinations, and for the airlines to provide more connectivity through the hubs of Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Melbourne,” Peter said.
“The airlines have again put on extra seats, this time during March and April to Brisbane and Melbourne. And, it’s easy to see why, there’s plenty of reasons to travel next month: the Quiksilver Pro is being held on the Gold Coast, the Jets take on Melbourne City on 18 March in Melbourne, and of course, the Formula1 will be in Melbourne from 23 March. If you’re looking for an excuse to travel next month, I think I just gave you three.”
The increase in passengers to the airport comes after it underwent a $14.5million terminal redevelopment in late 2015.
IMAGE | Newcastle Airport is experiencing another busy year.