International BNE services boost regional QLD growth in 2016

New airlines, direct services, the upgrading of aircraft and increased flights to/from several global destinations all contributed to a 5 per cent year on year growth in international passengers through Brisbane Airport (BNE) in 2016.

International passenger numbers grew by nearly 256,000 to more than 5.4 million travellers in 2016.

Domestic passenger volumes also increased by 1.7 per cent to more than 17.2 million, or 281,000+ more travellers than 2015. In total, BNE’s passenger numbers – domestic and international – grew by 2.4 per cent to nearly 22.7 million for the year.

While business travel ensured passenger numbers between capital cities was strong, intrastate leisure routes appear to have benefitted from increased international services into BNE.

The Brisbane - Cairns route achieved the strongest intrastate passenger growth (3 per cent), the third strongest passenger growth amongst all domestic routes, and the highest average load factor of any major route in BNE’s network (83 per cent).

Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and Managing Director, said it is no coincidence that Brisbane Airport’s success in attracting new and additional international airline services directly benefitted intrastate ports.

“Tourism Research Australia statistics show that international passengers who arrive in Australia through Brisbane Airport stay far longer in Queensland than if they came in through any other airport in Australia.

“When they stay longer they travel further throughout Queensland – to Cairns and the Tropical North, to the Gold Coast, to the Whitsundays and up the road to the Sunshine Coast.

“We are absolutely committed to working with our regional counterparts to get the best connectivity for Queensland and share the benefits of the hard work being done to build Brisbane as the gateway to Australia,” Ms Alroe said.

Highlights for 2016 include:

Major events hosted in Brisbane and Queensland including The Brisbane International Tennis, World Science Festival, CMC Rocks QLD Country Music Festival, World Outrigging Championships, and the Wallabies vs South Africa match also contributed to increased passengers through BNE.

BAC/BNE’s other notable achievements for 2016 include:

International Review

Domestic Review

Brisbane Airport Traffic performance – 2016 calendar year

International arrivals and departures




Transits, transfers (outbound)








Total international passengers




Domestic arrivals and departures




In 2017, BNE looks forward to:

“While business as usual continues at the terminals, our extensive $3.8 billion infrastructure program continues in 2017 with our International Terminal and apron expansion, Domestic Terminal northern apron expansion, a new Domestic Regional Satellite terminal and an upgraded Entry Control Point at the International Terminal, to name but a few projects,” Ms Alroe said.

“The jewel in our crown, Brisbane’s New Runway, is also entering its next exciting construction phase, so travellers can expect to see works commencing on site there, as well as new and improved facilities across the airport.

“Most of all, we look forward to continued collaboration with our airline, industry and business partners in growing Brisbane and Queensland’s profile as the most efficient and preferred gateway airport to Australia,” she said. 

* January – November, excluding passengers on board Norfolk Island services.