Brisbane Airport handled a record number of passengers in 2019. Over 24 million domestic and international passengers moved through the airport over the year.
The airport’s CEO, Gert-Jan de Graaff, says Brisbane Airport is going from strength to strength with far-reaching economic benefits
Passenger numbers up despite a drop in seat capacity
According to a report in Australian Aviation, travelers from New Zealand, China, and the United States drove growth in international passenger numbers. Passenger numbers from the United States were up 10.5% or 17,700 passengers. This came despite a decrease in seat capacity.
In a statement, Brisbane Marketing CEO Brett Fraser said;
“Our city’s visitor infrastructure is experiencing a once in a generation boom with thousands of new hotel rooms and a wave of new products and experiences, meaning we are primed to welcome visitors to our city.”
Just three airlines fly between Brisbane and the US
Just three airlines jet between Brisbane and the United States. They are Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Australia and Qantas.
Hawaiian Airlines offers three flights a week between Brisbane and Honolulu using an A330-200. Virgin Australia has a six-day a week service between Brisbane and Los Angeles using Boeing 777-300ERs. Qantas currently offers 10 services a week between Brisbane and Los Angeles using Boeing 787-9s.
None of the big United States mainland carriers fly into Brisbane. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines all fly into Sydney from various airports in the United States. United Airlines extends its reach to Melbourne.
An underserved market
Gert-Jan de Graaff says Brisbane is underserviced from the United States. Brisbane Airport Corporation has now joined forces with Brisbane Marketing to set up a tourism marketing team in the United States to try to address that.
The aim is to increase awareness of both the airport and Brisbane. This comes at an opportune time with Qantas is firing up with the first-ever direct services between Brisbane and San Francisco this month. In April, the airline will start flying between Brisbane and Chicago. This will be the first time Chicago gets a direct link to Australia.
Mr de Graff said;
“Relative to the size of the market and overall demand, Queensland has been under-served from the USA, and these new services will go some way to addressing pent up demand.
“It’s important now we do all we can to grow recognition of Brand Brisbane in North America, encouraging US travellers to ‘choose Queensland’ as their point of entry into Australia and enjoy the amazing experiences our beautiful city and region has to offer.”
Whether the airport boss can lure the likes of United or Delta to touchdown in Brisbane is debatable. What Gert-Jan de Graaff does have in his favor is stewardship of an airport that has posted reliable year-on-year growth over several decades.
Brisbane Airport is growing steadily
Brisbane Airport offers a steadily expanding array of international services. Last year, two new carriers started services into the city and several existing carriers upgraded aircraft and added services. Brisbane Airport also offers the widest choice of domestic destinations from any Australian airport. This can come in handy if you are an incoming or outgoing international traveler.
Finally, the new runway is set to open this year, increasing the amount of aircraft traffic the airport can handle. These are a range of factors that are driving growth at Brisbane Airport.
With the new flights to the United States starting this year and a substantial marketing push, 2020 should see another increase in the number of travelers flying between Brisbane and the United States.