China boosts BNE's passenger numbers in 2015

Chinese passengers at Brisbane Airport (BNE) grew by an impressive 27.5 per cent in 2015, contributing to an overall increase in international passengers of 4.8 per cent in 2015.

China was joined by Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and Korea in the top five international growth markets, with BNE welcoming more than 5.16 million international passengers in 2015.

Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and Managing Director, said a number of key events and launches helped drive international passenger growth.

“In February, during Chinese New Year, we welcomed a record number of visitors from mainland China. Visitation by Chinese travellers also spiked during May for the Corroboree Greater China event and again in October for Chinese Golden Week.

“We also saw considerable growth in Japanese passengers with the launch of Qantas’ daily service to Tokyo and saw both Etihad Airways and THAI switching to new B787 aircraft to Abu Dhabi direct and to Bangkok respectively,” Ms Alroe said.

Domestic passenger figures decreased year on year by 0.6 per cent to 16.97 million in 2015. This result was expected as the market reaches equilibrium following the slowing of the mining and resource sector resulting in a reduction in FIFO operations.

“When you look at the numbers, the modest decline in domestic passengers is to be expected considering the reduction of capacity by more than 2,600 flights (235,000+ seats), which were taken out of key resource markets such as Mount Isa, Moranbah, Roma, Rockhampton, Emerald, Gladstone, Newcastle and Mackay,” Ms Alroe said.

“Domestic carriers did however commit more seats to centres such as Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Hamilton Island, while also up-gauging a number of flights to larger aircraft on key routes,” Ms Alroe added.

BNE’s other achievements for 2015 include:

In 2016, BNE looks forward to:

International Review

2015 international passenger figures for BNE finished at 5.16 million which was an increase of 4.8 per cent on 2014.

In June, Etihad Airways commenced non-stop daily services to Abu Dhabi (instead of stopping over in Singapore), with Qantas launching daily Tokyo (Narita) services in August, and THAI upgrading its service to a B787-8 aircraft in October. All these changes translated to weekly flight frequency growth of 1.3 per cent year-on-year, from 603 to 611.

BNE’s busiest day for international passengers was 4 January with 19,402 arrivals and departures in a 24 hour period.

The month with the greatest passenger growth was March with more than 44,000 additional passengers travelling through the International Terminal compared to March 2014.

Natural disasters impacting international airline operations included Cyclone Pam that hit Vanuatu in March and the Indonesian Ash Cloud disrupting flights to/from Bali from early July and again in November.

Malaysia Airlines ceased operations to BNE in August with Garuda Indonesia withdrawing from BNE in February.

Domestic Review

2015 domestic passenger figures for BNE finished at 16.97 million which was a decrease of 0.6 per cent on 2014.

The busiest day for domestic passengers was 5 October, with 62,004 arrivals and departures.

The month with the greatest passenger growth was November 2015 with over 59,000 additional travellers compared to November 2014.

Sydney and Melbourne city pairs were the strongest growth markets in passenger volumes, with North Queensland city pairs having the most improvement in load factors.

Brisbane Airport Traffic performance – 2015 calendar year




Transits, transfers (outbound)








Total international passengers




Domestic arrivals and departures




Total passengers




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