Passenger numbers fall sharply in last quarter

August 24, 2020

About 1.25 million fewer travellers passed through the gates of Townsville Airport in the 12 months to July 2020 – representing a drop of around 382,000, or 24 per cent on the prior year.

This slide in numbers was caused by a dramatic fall in the last quarter of FY20, as COVID-19 related travel restrictions took effect. The worst month was April, recording just 12,824 passengers or 90.7 per cent below the previous year.

Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills said there was improvement in July, as intrastate travel increased.

“The airport recorded 58,490 passengers in July – more than the previous three months combined,” he said.

“This still represents a 63 per cent decline in passenger numbers compared to July 2019, and highlights that we still have a long way to go.”

Mr Mills said it had been a tough year for airports across the country.

“Townsville Airport is still only operating at about 40 per cent of the usual capacity. It seems Townsville’s diversified economy is helping passenger numbers recover more quickly than many of the larger airports in the country, but we can’t take a recovery for granted,” he said.

“We are concerned that confidence in travel planning generally is being affected by changing restrictions and a lack of clarity on the rules for when borders are opened and shut.”

Queensland Airports Limited owns and operates Gold Coast, Townsville, Mount Isa and Longreach airports.