More than 30 million people passed through Melbourne airport in the 12 months to June 2023, as demand for air travel continues its trajectory towards pre-pandemic levels.

A total of 30,783,366 people used the airport’s four terminals in the 2023 financial year, including more than 22.5 million domestic passengers and almost 8.3 million international travellers.

The overall figure represents a 138 per cent increase on the previous financial year, and 82 per cent of the 37.4 million passengers processed in the 2019 financial year, the airport says.

Melbourne airport handled a total of 19,038 passenger and cargo flight movements in June, surpassing the corresponding 2019 monthly figure for the first time, with international and domestic traveller numbers both exceeding 90 per cent of the 2019 monthly number.

Families heading off on school holidays helped set a new post-pandemic high for international travel, with 825,480 passengers in June, which represents 91 per cent of the 2019 figure.

Melbourne airport CEO, Lorie Argus, said the recovery of international travel was particularly pleasing.

“We have worked very hard alongside the Victorian State Government to ensure Melbourne is front of mind for airlines as they return aircraft to service and add new planes to their fleet,” she said.

“Some of the world’s biggest airlines such as United Airlines, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines are now flying more seats into Melbourne than they were before the pandemic.

“Capacity to key markets such as India and Vietnam is also much higher than in 2019, which means more options for passengers and local exporters; all of which is good news for Victoria’s economy.

“Melbourne Airport continues to plan for infrastructure such as our third runway to ensure we have room to enable further growth and keep Victorians and Victorian produce moving.”

From the Asia-Pacific region, the recent relaunch of Hainan Airlines’ twice weekly A330 service between Melbourne and Changsha via Haikou marked the return of seven of the eight mainland Chinese carriers that operated out of Melbourne in 2019.

Hainan joined Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Beijing Capital Airlines and Tianjin Airlines in offering direct flights from Melbourne to mainland China.

Last month, Vietnam’s national carrier, Vietnam Airlines, commenced twice-weekly A350 service between Hanoi and Melbourne.

The new service will operate in addition to Vietnam Airlines’ existing flights from Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City and will increase annual capacity between Victoria and Vietnam by more than 65,000 seats.

The new route means Vietnam Airlines now offers the most direct services between Australia and Vietnam, with a total frequency of up to 18 flights a week.