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Brisbane Airport Adds Puppies As 2 Million Holiday Passengers Expected

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  • 5 min read

Brisbane Airport expects two million passengers to travel through its terminals during the busy Easter and Autumn School Holiday period.

Brisbane Airport
  • 1,500,000 million people to pass through the Domestic Terminal
  • 500,000 travelers to pass through the International Terminal
  • Busiest day in Domestic Terminal: Thursday 28 March with 56,100 passengers
  • International travel up 32% on same time last year
  • Bookings strong to Queensland regions hit hard by summer flooding
  • Therapy puppies trial expands to International Terminal

The number of International Terminal passengers will be 32% higher than last year, at 91% of 2019 pre-Covid levels.

In the Domestic Terminal, passenger numbers are forecast to be up 2%, a 94% restoration of 2019 levels.

“As the weather starts to cool in New South Wales, Victoria, and New Zealand, we’re entering the period of the year when Queensland shines,” says Brisbane Airport spokesperson Peter Doherty.

In the Domestic Terminal, the busiest day of the holiday period will fall on the Thursday before Easter, with 56,100 passengers forecast to travel on March 28.

“Travel numbers are well within the capacity of our airport. Our advice to travellers is to arrive the normal 90 minutes prior to a domestic flight and 3 hours before an international departure which allows for a relaxed departure, while exploring our new dining options in the Domestic Terminal.”

Brisbane Airport Holiday Passenger Numbers

YearDaysDatesDomesticInternationalPassengers
202433Thurs 28 March – Mon 29 April1,526,000513,0002,039,000
202333Thurs 30 March – Mon 01 May1,493,000389,0001,882,000
201933Thurs 28 March – Mon 29 April1,619,000564,0002,183,000
% Restoration vs 201994%91%93%
  Increase vs last year2%32%8%
International travel is up 32% from last year

Brisbane Airport Holiday Passengers On International Routes

The peak period for the International Terminal will be between Friday, 12 April – Sunday, 14 April, as school holidays begin in New Zealand.

“Trans-Tasman travel has increased, with the number of flights originating from New Zealand rising from 75 this time last year to 87 per week this year. This equates to over 18,600 seats available in each direction weekly, marking a 23% increase compared to last year.”

However, the biggest growth since Easter 2023 has been in routes between Brisbane and Japan.

“This time last year there were just 3 services per week to Japan, where this Easter there are 18 departures per week.  The number of passengers will be at 200% of pre-Covid levels, by far the biggest recovery of any market. Not only will it mean thousands of Japanese tourists holidaying in South East Queensland, but also lots of Queenslanders enjoying the cherry blossom season.”

An expansion of Jetstar services at Brisbane Airport is behind the boom. This has delivered thousands of low-cost fares into the market and propelled Jetstar to become the second-biggest international airline at BNE.

“Jetstar’s growing Brisbane network is adding thousands of cheap flights into the market at a time we know every dollar counts. A valuable holiday experience begins with a good value flight.”

Therapy Puppy Program Extends To International Terminal

Brisbane Airport has seen positive results from using therapy dogs in the Domestic Terminal during busy holidays. For the upcoming holidays, it plans to expand the program to the International Terminal.

“We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding the calming effect these adorable pups have on passengers. Consequently, we eagerly anticipate extending this program to the International Terminal.”

International Top 5 inbound destinations

  • 1.      New Zealand
  • 2.      UK/Europe
  • 3.      USA
  • 4.      Canada
  • 5.      Japan

International top 5 outbound destinations

  • 1.     UK/Europe
  • 2.     New Zealand
  • 3.     Indonesia
  • 4.     USA
  • 5.     Japan

Tourism is Critical for Queensland

According to Brett Fraser, Chief Executive Officer of Queensland Tourism Industry Council, there are positive signs for Queensland regions hit hard by flooding.

“So far, forecasts are predicting a strong Easter holiday period. For some Queensland regions, the end of 2023 and beginning of 2024 were extremely tough, with consecutive severe weather events hitting the state. But right now, all forward bookings for places like Cairns and the Whitsundays, are looking very strong. There are still challenges, but the future is looking positive.”

Brett Fraser also sees a return to “normal” travel patterns in 2024.

“We’re starting to get back to pre-Covid patterns as well. Cyclical patterns that we used to see before the pandemic are starting to come back into the market. The past couple of years we’ve flattened out those cyclical parts, but we’re starting to see them again. We are seeing a genuine kick-in for bookings these holidays.”

Queensland’s tourism industry is a $22 billion industry for the state, with domestic and international visitors spending $90.1 million per day in the year ending March 2023.

“We know when Brisbane Airport is busy, Queensland’s tourism industry is busy, and with the sector employing 1 in 15 of all people employed in Queensland, the Easter holidays play an important role for the State,” says Brisbane Airport’s Peter Doherty.

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